The Catholic University of America
Welcome to the Institute for Interreligious Study and Dialogue.
In today's world, we live together as people of many different faiths and worldviews. We have become more aware that living together with people of other religions is not only a matter of fact, but that it is necessary to survive in the twenty-first century. Some fifty years ago, the Second Vatican Council started this awareness in the document Nostra Aetate in which the Council describes the relationship between the Church and other religions. Among theologians and church leaders, many think that the church barely has begun to realize the promises of this text.
The Institute for Interreligious Study and Dialogue, of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, sets its goal to study interreligious dialogue, and to enhance the engagement of the Roman Catholic Church in these dialogues.
On this website, you will find some of the new initiatives that the Institute has started in order to come closer to this goal, but you will also find links to colleagues who have started similar initiatives, and to what we have done in the past. Once again, dialogue is not an option but it is an integral part of what it means to be faithful to Christ in the present era. Dialogue is a way to meet God in friends and strangers, as the bishops of England and Wales have stated in a recent document. As part of the Catholic University of America, we hope that our contribution to the study of dialogue between people of different faith traditions may enable us to retrieve the light of God that shines in so many places, among friends and strangers.
Dr. Pim Valkenberg