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Thread: The Impact of Religious Dialogue on Multi-faith Australia.

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    Exalted Member bored of sc's Avatar
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    The Impact of Religious Dialogue on Multi-faith Australia.

    Explain the impact of religious dialogue in multi-faith Australia in relation to Christian Ecumenical movements AND interfaith dialogue.

    Australia is a multicultural, pluralistic society and there is no exception to this in terms of the diversity of religious affiliation. The variety of religious traditions has lead to a myriad of negative issues in Australia and abroad such as persecution, racism, sectarianism and on the extreme level, wars and terrorism. The introduction of religious dialogue within Australian society has had an overwhelmingly positive impact for the relationships between traditions. Two main branches of religious dialogue are Ecumenism and interfaith dialogue. Christian Ecumenical movements strive for the increased communication and better relations between Christian denominations. Interfaith dialogue is similar but more universal in that it includes all major religious traditions, both Christians and Non-Christians. Ultimately, religious dialogue has been of benefit to multi-faith Australia providing a greater sense of peace, appreciation, understanding and respect among a range of traditions and denominations.

    Interfaith dialogue is the formal discussion (not debate) between religious traditions. Its purpose is to celebrate differences, recognise commonalities and appreciate the uniqueness of the various religions. A practical example of interfaith dialogue in action is the Council of Christians and Jews. Demonstrations (e.g. musical performances), seminars and services take place for instance; the NSW council (est. 1989) holds a Christian commemoration for Holocaust held in the crypt of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral. Another good indication of the application of interfaith dialogue is the ‘Affinity Intercultural Foundation’ (est. 2001). As the name suggests the institution intends on extending interaction and ‘likeness’ between Muslims and Christians through appreciation of one another’s beliefs and practises. The Inaugural Interfaith Day at Gosford Uniting Church was held this very year (2008). It was a multi-denominational forum between the Uniting Church (Ecumenical Movement, see next paragraph) and Affinity. This gathering of Christians and Muslims can be summarised as ‘living with the neighbour who is different’ and appropriately, Makiz Ansari (Muslim) and Rev Brooks (Christians) gave very moving keynote addresses. Overall, the event was an excellent, inclusive session for the practising of interfaith and cultural dialogue.

    Another exemplary model of religious dialogue is the Christian Ecumenical movement. The Uniting Church is a Christian denomination which was developed in Australia. It consists of three denominations; Methodists, Presbyterians and Congregationalists, all of which seek to bear witness to unity, which is both Christ’s gift and will for the Church. Its impact on Australian society has massive. The ongoing commitment in promoting Ecumenism has assisted in the Uniting Church gaining popularity and becoming the third largest Christian denomination in multi-faith Australia. The National Council of Churches in Australia (est. 1994) was the result of Anglican/Protestants and Eastern/Oriental Orthodox Christians initiatives within the Australian Council of Churches. The NCCA represents fifteen Catholic Churches which communicate, collaborate and discuss the various issues affecting human life. The NSW sector of the NCCA contains sixteen Churches (including the ACT) and eleven dioceses. The simplicity of its initiatives can be expressed by its four key aims (1) reflect upon theology (2) provide local/educational initiatives (3) address social justice issues (4) maintain the spirit of ecumenism through advocacy.

    Both Ecumenism and interfaith dialogue have had a strong, positive impact in Australia; alleviating the religious tension existing between denominations and traditions. Through work, worship and speaking together the religions have built bridges between divisions/conflicts, established healthy/lost-lasting relationships, emphasised the importance of faith/values, broken down stereotypes/prejudices (e.g. racism against Muslims) and supported/cooperated with one another. Christian Ecumenical movements have come closer to achieving their message: living out Christ’s message of unconditional love while interfaith dialogue has allowed for service of less fortunate (e.g. Boxing Day Tsunami 2004 relief/aid). In the end, religious dialogue has helped to remove some of the fear, uncertainty and suspicion and enabled a greater understanding, appreciation and sense of harmony/peace among religious traditions.

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    Exalted Member bored of sc's Avatar
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    Re: The Impact of Religious Dialogue on Multi-faith Australia.

    Unfortunately I am restricted since I'm following the textbook/notes which lies and says that religious dialogue is positive.

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    Re: The Impact of Religious Dialogue on Multi-faith Australia.

    I received 18/20 for this.
    Last edited by bored of sc; 19 Dec 2008 at 9:50 PM.

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    Re: The Impact of Religious Dialogue on Multi-faith Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by bored of sc
    I recieved 18/20 for this.
    Well done.

    I am surprised that you didn't get more.

    EDIT: I think it would have helped if you could mention some other organisations such as Buddhist's Peace Fellowship that are involved in this cause. I think you were concentration on NCCA too much.

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    Re: The Impact of Religious Dialogue on Multi-faith Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by lyounamu
    Well done.

    I am surprised that you didn't get more.

    EDIT: I think it would have helped if you could mention some other organisations such as Buddhist's Peace Fellowship that are involved in this cause. I think you were concentration on NCCA too much.
    I could have discussed the negative impacts. Refer to ari89's post.

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