We spend five minutes with the Rev. David Pargeter
Could you suggest a short reading list for a newcomer to interfaith relations?
Not Without my Neighbour: Issues in interfaith Relations (Risk Book Series) by S Wesley Ariarajah. This book has been around for a while but it is very accessible language-wise. However, in reality you can’t beat just joining a group or being with an individual of a different faith framework and simply spending time listening. I reckon interfaith conversations are of the heart more than they are of the mind.
Which authors or practitioners of interfaith dialogue / relations do you find most inspiring?
Professor Joseph Camilleri, Centre for Dialogue Latrobe University.
What do you think are the particular challenges for interfaith work in the coming 12 months?
Creating genuinely safe spaces in which people of different faiths and no particular faith can talk openly and honestly about such things as doubt and mystery, hope and meaning etc
I think getting beyond a reliance on ancient texts and postures for insights into the present and future is going to require a lot of sensitive patience.
Have you attended an interfaith event recently?
With my close colleague Larry Marshall we host a regular inter-faith dialogue at the synod office. We have intentionally avoided gathering the ‘usual suspects’ but instead concentrated on bringing younger people into a space where conversation can take place. These have turned out to be gentle and enriching conversations. ‘Together’ we recently hosted a forum titled “some of my best friends are atheists” – a great discussion space. Last week we met to discuss Orthodoxy. The title of the discussion was “What’s up Orthodoxy”.