Chapter

Interreligious Dialogue and International Relations

Thomas Banchoff

in Rethinking Religion and World Affairs

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199827978
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933020 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827978.003.0014
Interreligious Dialogue and International Relations

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In September 2006 a retired German professor was invited back to Regensburg University to address his former colleagues. His presentation, entitled “Faith, Reason, and the University: Memories and Reflections,” explored the relationship between religion and philosophy in an extended academic manner. His erudition, interspersed with reminiscences, delighted his audience. But his words reverberated far beyond the lecture hall. The retired professor was Pope Benedict XVI, and his lecture included unflattering references to the Prophet Mohammed and Islam. Condemnations and protests erupted within the Muslim world. Benedict's Regensburg address and its aftermath pose the question of how interreligious dialogue relates to international relations. This chapter explores both the impact of interreligious dialogue on international relations, and vice-versa. It then returns to the Regensburg controversy as an illustration of both.

Keywords: religion; interreligious dialogue; international relations; Christians; Muslims; Pope Benedict XVI

Chapter.  4989 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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