Working for peace and understanding across deep difference
For the second year in a row, I was invited to speak to a group of international professors and researchers as part of the Dialogue Institute of Temple University’s Study of the U.S. Institute for Scholars on Religious Pluralism in the US (SUSI) program. What an honor to address these four women and 14 men who work for peace and understanding across deep difference in their home nations of Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, China, Ethiopia, Finland, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Turkey!
These individuals come to study the American view of religious freedom, tolerance, and pluralism. They want to help Eastern and Western cultures better understand each other through international and interfaith dialogue. They want to engage in deep discussions on religious diversity and learn how to have open, non-threatening conversations about racial and religious issues.
The scholars were curious about how Christians approach and work through the highly fraught and sometimes life-or-death subject of sexual and gender diversity in our faith communities. They wanted to know if anyone ever walks out of an Oriented to Love dialogue and how it all “works”—they were understandably skeptical and cautiously hopeful.
It is heartening to connect and partner with such diverse, dedicated men and women who long to learn, deepen, and share the tools, postures, and hope of true dialogue across deep difference!
Curious to know more about Oriented to Love dialogues? Click here to apply to attend!
Kristyn Komarnicki is director of dialogue and convening for Christians for Social Action. She leads the Oriented to Love dialogue program, helping diverse Christians build unity that is deeper than agreement.