Religious leaders are “disagreeing well”

November 20, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Archbishop of Canterbury recently identified “Disagreeing well” as one of the great challenges faced by religious leaders.

With so many people reinforcing prejudices through what are effectively information silos, a tendency to take sides rather than consider a range of views, the paucity of widely respected sources of intellectual authority and a breakdown in civility in public discourse, building a harmonious and respectful society is also a daunting task.
With this in mind, the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims & Jews made it the subject of this week’s meeting, which was the 60th time the dialogue has convened.
Meeting online, the  delegations were led by Elizabeth Stone from the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA), Sheikh Amin Hady from the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) and Jeremy Jones for the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ),
The opening presentations from each group came from NCCA President John Gilmore, a minister of the Churches of Christ, Jeremy Jones, who is a former president of the ECAJ and Director of International and Community Affairs of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, and Sheikh Hady, imam at the  Alexandria Mosque and advisor to AFIC.
The members of the ECAJ delegation, Rabbis Ralph Genende, Rabbis Jacqueline Ninio and Jeffrey Kamins, and Peter Wertheim, Julie Nathan and Joshua Moses brought a wealth of wisdom and Jewish learning to the discussion.
“It was fascinating and illuminating to learn about the place of argument and disagreement in different religious traditions, lines of authority, regard for the wisdom of other faiths and when it is right or wrong to prioritise consensus”, Jeremy Jones said.
“We discussed intrafaith as well as interfaith respect, American Jewish studies in to the best way of achieving civil discourse and much more, with all present agreeing that the discussion could have been continued constructively beyond the time available for the dialogue”, Jones added.
“It was not said, but was self-evident, that our Christian-Jewish-Muslim dialogue meetings model respectful conversation with genuine desires to learn, rather than to ‘win” a debate “, Jones concluded

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