Interfaith Dialogue

We advocate for transformational dialogue.

Columban missionaries, from the very beginning of our Society in 1916, have lived and worked among believers from other religions, some for many decades.

Interreligious dialogue is transforming the lives of Christians and other believers throughout the world.  It is changing the way we do theology together and leading to more effective collaboration among believers for the common good.

We have learned that the best and most effective way to address the pressing social issues of poverty, injustice and environmental degradation is by harnessing the collective wisdom and energies of the religions and by doing things together with others rather than in isolation.

We advocate for a culture of encounter.

The most basic reason for dialogue among human beings is our common humanity. We are all sisters and brothers. People around the world follow various religions, of both ancient and more recent origin. Indigenous spiritualties embody a reverence for the environment that has been handed down through generations in oral traditions and expressed in ritual, dance and story. Columbans are involved with indigenous people, as well as with Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Jews around the world.

There are four commonly accepted forms of interreligious dialogue: 

  • The dialogue of life, where people strive to live in an open and neighborly spirit, sharing their joys and sorrows, their human problems and preoccupations.
  • The dialogue of action, in which Christians and others collaborate for the integral development and liberation of people.
  • The dialogue of theological exchange, where specialists seek to deepen their understanding of their respective religious heritages, and to appreciate each other’s spiritual values.
  • The dialogue of religious experience, where persons, rooted in their own religious traditions, share their spiritual riches, for instance with regard to prayer and contemplation, faith and ways of searching for God or the Absolute.

Interreligious Dialogue Resources: