Study guide for Muslim-Christian dialogue

An invitation from Norani Abu Bakar

I am writing to cordially invite you to share your voices in the coming publication of the Study Guide for Muslim Christian Dialogue. This invitation is opened to young and potential leaders who are actively participating in interfaith related initiatives and scholarly work. It seeks to gather the rich and diverse voices at all levels, especially at the grass roots by giving them space to creatively answer various questions related to Islam and Christianity using their own stories.

The objective of publishing your stories and experiences is to facilitate and enhance deeper and meaningful engagement, and to bridge any misunderstanding between the two faiths.

Your sharing will make a real difference in learning about each other, fostering mutual respect, building relations and reconciliation in our diversified society today. The tentative date for the launching of this compilation is August 2012, i.e. during the Summer Institute training in Singapore.

My hope is that your contribution will help us to discern, and to explore new ways, means and methods of dialogue between faith adherents and communities, physically and virtually.

I am delighted to have your participation in this project.

Norani Abu Bakar is a Post Graduate Fellow and the Asia Project Director of YCFC-PFMR. She can be contacted at norani.abubakar@yale.edu and blogs at  Loving God and NeighborsThe website for Pathways For Mutual Respect is www.pfmr.org

A little about the “Emerging faith leadership training in Asia”

The “Emerging faith leadership training in Asia” develops and trains emerging leaders in fostering peaceful coexistence within diverse communities. The vision of the program is to build a flourishing community through synergic collaboration of faith-related leaders. Selected participants will be faith related leaders who not only possess strong leadership skills but are also strongly motivated in impacting the community locally especially the faith-related grassroots efforts. This program has been designed by Pathways for Mutual Respect (PFMR) and is being conducted by Yale Center for Faith and Culture (YCFC) and PFMR via collaboration with institutions of higher learning in Asia and through partnership with like-minded organizations.

The training which is conducted annually takes place through a combination of classroom seminars, small group discourse and conversation, observing religious services corporately and individually, scriptural reading, field work, and alumni-participant mentorship. The praxis is a transformational model which promotes mutual support on one another co-existence, with an emphasis on cognitive and affective discourse, and hands-on-experience.

The program’s performance of this program will be measured by (A) the participants’ ability to effectively engage the local communities in striving collectively towards peaceful coexistence; (B) by their success in resolving faith related conflicts; (C) by the shift of the community perspective and conduct from being community-centric to community-relative; and (D) by their success in resolving faith-related conflicts, by their ability to themselves train and empower new leaders in this contextual model. The program also hopes to develop a strong alumni network in order to encourage participants in spearheading interfaith initiatives in their home countries.