I think every time I have mentioned the word 'interfaith', people have looked at me blankly - it's a relatively new term. So I decided that today I would blog about it - particularly for those of you who will come across this blog, get a good feeling about the way it is unfolding and have your curiosity stirred - hopefully enough to keep you coming back!
Interfaith is more of a movement really. Some have termed it a 'quiet revolution', because it is a rapidly growing and evolving movement that is changing and shaping the way religions and spiritual traditions see and engage with each other.
Before, we lived in relatively secular, isolated communities, but with the advent of globalisation, science and technology, the world has 'cross pollenated' (now that's a great way to look at it!). We now live in diverse, multi-cultural societies - especially here in Australia where 1 in 4 people have a parent or grandparent born overseas.
We are so closely connected now, that something that happens in one country, can have an immediate domino effect around the world...recent global events clearly show that ( it always amazes me that I write a blog, click a tab, send it into the ethers, where someone in Bosnia finds it and reads it - hi to that person!)
Over the last 20 odd years or so, this interconnectedness has seen the need for more spiritual interaction and dialogue between the world's faith traditions - and the wider community - in an effort to better understand each other. Events in America on September 11 dramatically intensified this growing movement and awareness.
Interfaith organisations sprang up everywhere - particularly in the US - as people from a diverse range of faiths sought to break down shortsighted bias's and prejudices by finding a common good, 'grounded in a universal and inclusive approach to spirituality'.
Advocates of the Interfaith movement recognise 'the universal Truth that lies at the heart of all faiths and traditions, and honour the rich diversity that exists between them, by promoting an ethic of respect, forgiveness, compassion and community'.
Theological differences 'between religions are acknowledged and respected, by honoring the timeless understanding that essentially there is One God or Source of Life with many wonderful paths leading to that Source'.
Very valuable food for thought! - check out 'Parliment of World Religions' in the pages section, to find more about the history of the interfaith movement.