Interreligious and Ecumenical Topics

The True Wealth of Nations | Catholic Education | The Catholic Tradition | Generations in Dialogue | Interreligious and Ecumenical Topics

interreligous-dialogue-300Judaism, Christianity and Islam each claims to have received a divine revelation. That revelation is authoritative. Nonetheless, all three traditions recognize that the human capacity to fully receive and understand that revelation is inescapably limited. Those limitations derive not only from the sinfulness of the recipients of the revelation, but also from the inherent limitations of intelligence to understand fully the revelation, and the limitations of human language to fully express it. This research project will bring together an international group of Jewish, Christian and Muslim scholars to examine how their respective traditions of “epistemic humility” or learned ignorance might enrich their appreciation of the greatness of the revelation, as well as situate more appropriately the claims that should be made for it. Two international meetings separated by a year for research and writing will lead to an important book. Fr. James Heft, S.M., president and founding director of the Institute, is leading this research project.



Relevant Books

Catholicism and Interreligious Dialogue

interreligious_dialogue(Oxford University Press, October 2011)

Edited by James Heft, this volume features chapters by five Catholic scholars, each expert in another world religion, with responses from participants in those religions, followed by further comments from the Catholic scholar. Each chapter features an annotated bibliography for further study.

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Learned Ignorance


(Oxford, Spring 2011)

Edited by James Heft, Reuven Firestone and Omid Safi, this book is based upon an extensive discussion in Jersualem that included an international group of Jewish, Christian and Muslim scholars who explore how to accept the limited grasp all believers have of God’s revelation without falling into relativism. In a unique epilogue, the editors, in dialogue with each other, ask what should be the point of interreligious dialogue.

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