Inter-Religious Dialogue for Cultural Integration and National Reconciliation

Duration :

12th May, 2018 – 28th July, 2018 (only on Saturdays)

9.00 am – 2.00 pm

Resource Persons :

  • Rev. Prof. Aloysius Pieris SJ
  • Rev. Dr. Claude J. Perera OMI
  • Dr. Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi (Course In-Charge)
  • Dr. Sunil Wijesiriwardene

Pre-réquisites :

  • G.C.E. (A/L) cum adequate use of English
  1. The course will explore different aspects of inter-religious relations in today’s global and local context, with some emphasis on Buddhist-Christian relations.
  2. Understanding the relations between faith, gender, politics and ‘difference’ in general, when people of different religions are involved in conflict or engage each other in dialogue.
  3. Re-reading and re-interpreting the historical and cultural sources.

On completion of this course the participants will be able to

  • explain the concept of inter-religious dialogue and people to people encounters as the basis of reconciliation and cultural integration.
  • assess how the religions as value-based worldviews come to terms with inter-religious dialogue in plural societies.
  • comprehend how religions and religious institutions possess the potential to exacerbate conflict as well as to be a resource for conflict transformation.
  • identify the significance of contemporary culture, history, social and ethical issues including social justice, wealth and poverty, politics and good governance, race, ethnicity, gender and the environment for peacebuilding.

Lectures, assignments, panel discussions with external discussants exposure visits, dialogue and conflict transformation groups work, debates, role plays and mimes.

Assignments, written examinations, class room activities, and oral presentations.

  • Balasuriya, T. The Catholic Approach to Religio-cultural Integration. Satyodaya Bulletin 18, 1974.
  • Some thoughts on Evangelisation and Dialogue, Logos, 11/4 1971.
  • Hettiarachchi, S. Faithing the Native Soil: Dilemmas and Aspirations of Postcolonial Buddhists and Christians in Sri Lanka, (author published), Colombo, 2012.
  • Knitter, P.One Earth Many Religions: Multi-faith Dialogue and Global Responsibility. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1995.
  • Kraemer, H. The Christian Message in a Non-Christian World. New York: Harper, 1938.
  • Peiris, A. Fire & Water, Basic Issues in Asian Buddhism and Christianity. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1996.
  • Love meets Wisdom, A Christian Experience of Buddhism. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1988.
  • Race, A. Interfaith Encounter: The Twin Tracks of Theology & Dialogue. London: SCM Press, 2001.
  • Firth, O. Joseph Vaz, A Man Who Served Two Gods, talk delivered at SEDEC, 14th January 2011 (to be published)