The Centre for Inter-religious Dialogue at Australian Catholic University (ACU-CID) is hosting an International Theological Conference to explore the advances and setbacks of interfaith dialogue in the last five decades and to investigate new paths that can contribute to the wellbeing of humanity and the entire cosmos in our age.The International Theological Conference: Interfaith Dialogue, Paths to Dialogue in our Age will be held Monday May 26 – Thursday May 29, 2014 at the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne Campus, Australia.
In our age, when day by day humanity is being drawn closer together, and the ties between different peoples are becoming stronger, the adherents of the world’s religions are examining what they have in common and what draws them to fellowship. Through the praxis of interfaith dialogue some headway has already been made on this path to peace, understanding and collaboration.
Within Roman Catholicism, the Second Vatican Council, convened by Pope John XXIII, heightened the consciousness of the Church with regard to other religions. His successor, Pope Paul VI, had as his first encyclical the 1964 document Ecclesiam Suam (subtitled “paths of the church”) where dialogue was promoted as the new way of being Church. Hence, the theme of the present conference, beginning with “paths to dialogue”, commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the proclamation of this landmark document. The topic of dialogue was given further attention in the 1965 document Nostra Aetate (“in our age”) which counseled the Church to be in “dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions”.
While celebrating the bold spirit of dialogue expressed in these two documents, the organizers are conscious that much has changed in the world in the last half century, even within the sphere of inter-religious relations. This conference will explore the changes and possibilities ahead.