Muslims, Christians, and the Challenge of Interfaith Dialogue

By Jane Idleman Smith | Go to book overview

5
When Dialogue Goes Wrong

“It was wonderful! I wouldn't have missed the experience for the world.” “I was amazed to discover that Muslims have so much in common with Christians. This dialogue really opened my eyes.” “This was the first time I have every talked about my faith with anyone who is not Muslim, and it was difficult. But in the end I think I gained a lot from this dialogue.”

With few exceptions, both Muslims and Christians who have had an involvement with dialogue, either as a one-time experience or in an ongoing group, are enthusiastic about the time they have spent together and want to affirm that good things have come out of the encounter. Nonetheless, not all interfaith experiences turn out well. Those who are lengthy experience in dialogue understand that there are traps into which even the most ardent advocates of interfaith exchange may fall, and problems that must be addressed if real progress is to take place in mutual understanding. Some of the potential problems that will be raised here are implicit in the foregoing chapters.


The Local and the Global

The world appears to many Americans to be getting increasingly troublesome, and to Western eyes all too often it seems that the problem spots are connected either directly or indirectly with Muslims.

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Muslims, Christians, and the Challenge of Interfaith Dialogue
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • 1- Encountering Each Other 3
  • 2- The Legacy of Engagement 23
  • 3- Islam - A Truly American Religion? 41
  • 4- Models of Christian-Muslim Dialogue in America 63
  • 5- When Dialogue Goes Wrong 83
  • 6- The Pluralistic Imperative - Christian Perspectives 101
  • 7- The Pluralist Imperative - Muslim Perspectives 121
  • 8- New Directions in Dialogue 141
  • Notes 161
  • Bibliography 173
  • Index 179
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