‘Lived Faith’ as an Approach to Inter- Religious Dialogue – Designing for Discussion
by Sian Nicholas – [ Journal of Dialogue Studies Vol 4 ]
AbstractInter-Religious dialogue usually involves the exploration of various issues by people of similar hierarchical standing within different religious structures and is based upon spirituality and religious texts and scriptures to inform discussion. This paper explores the concept of ‘lived faith’ as a means to engage people of different faith backgrounds in conversations around contemporary contentious issues within the city of Birmingham, UK, which were termed the ‘Birmingham Conversations’. The paper outlines the evaluative research methodology of ‘conversation’ development and the use of ‘lived faith’ as a concept around which to base the various discussions and conversations. The paper suggests that this method of engaging participants in discussions around conflict issues enabled participants of asymmetrical hierarchical positions within faith organisations to be present and contribute meaningfully and significantly. It also outlines the potential for ‘lived faith’ as an important tool for providing ‘safe space’ for contentious issues to be aired and greater understanding to be developed between people of different faith backgrounds in a globalised UK city.