Building Hope: Muslims, Christians and Jews Seeking the Common Good

I will be in Yale, June 13-23, 2011 where the Reconciliation Program will host a strategic conference of influential, mid-career Muslim, Christian and Jewish religious leaders.

Approximately ten leaders from each faith community, men and women with a proven record of leadership and clear future potential have been chosen to attend this international gathering focused on seeking the common good. Participants have been carefully chosen by senior leaders in each faith community as representing those mid-career leaders most likely to be exercising the widest influence in their communities in 10-15 years from now.

One of the unique aspects of the Building Hope Conference is that, while participants represent the full spectrum of their respective communities, particular emphasis has been given to drawing in forward-looking leaders in the traditionalist or conservative wings of their communities. In the past, many interfaith dialogues have reached out only to the most progressive wing of each community, with the result that millions of more traditionalist religious believers do not feel a sense of ownership of the process. This group of leaders represents a generational shift in interfaith dialogue, involving people of peace from the whole spectrum of each community. These leaders will gather to wrestle with some of the big global issues confronting the world today. Here are some of the topics covered: Peacemaking and tolerance according to our sacred texts Religiously sanctioned violence: “terrorism” and the so-called “war on terror” The Israeli-Palestinian conflict Ethics of da’wa (Islamic outreach) and evangelism Freedom of religion and respect for the other Concern for the poor, and stewardship of creation/the environment Muslims, Christians and Jews among them comprise well over half of the world’s population. Thus, without peace among these three religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world today. A small but important step towards peace is seeking the common good together.

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