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College of Arts and Sciences

Boston College Symposia on Interreligious Dialogue

2008 event

First Boston College Symposium on Interreligious Dialogue

September 19-21, 2008


In the process of dialogue between members of different religious traditions, each typically approaches the other from within a particular religious framework which serves as the basis for discerning what is valuable and true in the other religion.  These principles of discernment may be operative implicitly or explicitly and may manifest themselves in the ways in which elements of other religions have been spontaneously assimilated or consciously engaged as an occasion for change and growth. 

Within the context of religious pluralism, some theologians engaged in dialogue have moved away from religion-specific criteria of truth in favor of “neutral” or common ones.  However, in so far as dialogue is conducted from within religious traditions, religious criteria will continue to take precedence over neutral ones.  At this conference, we wish to reflect on the principles and processes of discernment which have been and may be operative within particular religious traditions.  These may arise from doctrines, from socio-ethical values and/or from normative practices. 


Plenary Address

Dialogue Between Muslims and Christians as Mutually Transformative Speech

David Burrell, University of Notre Dame

September 19, 2009


Francis Clooney, Harvard University

Joseph Lumbard, Brandeis University


David Burrell

Dialogue Between Muslims and Christians as Mutually Transformative Speech

View video from the inaugural lecture (2008) of the Boston College Symposia on Interreligious Dialogue. The keynote speaker is David Burrell, emeritus professor of the University of Notre Dame. Respondents are professors Francis Clooney of Harvard and Joseph Lumbard of Brandeis.

Dover Symposium (Saturday and Sunday, September 20-21)


Saturday, September 20
Anantanad Rambachan, St. Olaf’s College
Deepak Sarma, Case Western Reserve Univeristy
Mark Unno, University of Oregon
Judith Simmer-Brown, Naropa University
Omid Safi, University of North Carolina
Asma Afsaruddin, Notre Dame

Sunday, September 21
David Elcott, New York University
Jonathan Magonet, L. Baeck College, London
Gavin D’Costa, Bristol University
Reinhold Bernhardt, University of Basel

Note: Papers from this event have been published in Criteria of Discernment in Interreligious Dialogue, C. Cornille, ed. [Wipf & Stock Publishers, Eugene, OR, 2009)


Photos from the 2008 event in Dover
Symposia on Interreligious Dialogue

Reinhold Bernhardt, Mark Heim, and John Borelli

Symposia on Interreligious Dialogue

Gavin D'Costa

Symposia on Interreligious Dialogue

Ruth Langer, David Elcott, Mark Heim, and Catherine Cornille

Symposia on Interreligious Dialogue

Richard Kearney and David Burrell

Symposia on Interreligious Dialogue

Joseph Lumbard, David Burrell, Judith Simmer-Brown, and John Makransky

Symposia on Interreligious Dialogue

The 2008 symposium

Symposia on Interreligious Dialogue

Jonathan Magonet and David Elcott