Inter­ac­tive Faith: The Essen­tial Inter­re­li­gious Com­mu­ni­ty-Build­ing Handbook

Rev. Bud Heck­man and Rori Pick­er Neiss, eds.
  • Review
By – September 13, 2011

The pur­pose of this fas­ci­nat­ing col­lec­tion of essays is to facil­i­tate inter­faith dia­logue. Through use­ful hands-on essays craft­ed by reli­gious thinkers and lead­ers who are entrenched and expe­ri­enced in inter­faith dia­logue, the edi­tors have cre­at­ed a book of recipes, some of which will undoubt­ed­ly fail and some of which may suc­ceed. The book is 100% prac­ti­cal; it deals with the­o­ret­i­cal issues only in the con­text of prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tions. Suc­cess or fail­ure depends on the envi­ron­ment, the par­tic­i­pants, time con­straints, and the strength of will of those peo­ple involved in the process to see their mis­sion suc­ceed. In one appen­dix, Rev. Fran­cis Tiso dic­tates the Dia­logue Deca­logue.” He lists his Ten Com­mand­ments of inter­faith meetings: 

1. the pri­ma­ry pur­pose is to learn
2. must be two-sided
3. must come with hon­esty
and sin­cer­i­ty
4. must only com­pare ideals to
ideals, not ideals to prac­tice
5. must define one­self
6. no hard and fast assump­tions
7. dia­logue can only take place
between equals
8. mutu­al trust
9. must also be self crit­i­cal
10. must attempt to expe­ri­ence
oth­er reli­gion from with­in

Only after these rules are fol­lowed, he cau­tions, can real dia­logue, learn­ing, and mutu­al under­stand­ing take place.

Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

Discussion Questions