Interreligious dialogue involves the exchange of religious ideas between people who professes different religions. Some people argue that dialogues should not be allowed. This is according to the bible that says that Christians should not be yoked with people from other religions who are thought to be non believers. However, interactions between Jesus and non believers show that He supported interreligious dialogue. Dialogues are important in that they help near the non believers so that preaching to them becomes easy. The dialogues help understand the religious beliefs of other people. People get to appreciate and respect the beliefs of others hence peace can exist between people regardless of their religion (Knitter, 2002).
Jesus would exercise confession approach in interreligious dialogues. This means that Jesus would take a strong stand on the facts about Christianity. He would support the beliefs of the Christian religion through quotes from scriptures and the historical practices that have existed.
Jesus would approach the dialogue with open mindedness. This requires individuals to listen to the ideas of others. By listening to the beliefs of the other, it becomes possible to identify flaws in beliefs of other religion. This would help Jesus to correct these people. Listening to the ideas of others makes the other side to see the importance of listening you (Knitter, 2002).
Integrity is another important issue that Jesus would observe. This is where Jesus would enjoy sharing ideas with other people. Interreligious dialogue is not an argument that should separate people. Instead, unity between parties should be demonstrated. Jesus would not only make arguments to favor Christian religion but would also give more information that would benefit people from other religions even though they fail to appreciate Christian religion. This approach helps to gather more information from the other party and understanding of issues being discussed improves (Knitter, 2002).
The parties involved in the dialogue need to respect each other. Jesus would require respect so that dialogue can go on. To gain this respect, Jesus would first respect the others. This is listening to their ideas, comparing them with those of Christianity and finding out the differences. Agreements may not be made but respect makes it possible to continue with the dialogue. Better communication is assured with respect (Knitter, 2002).
God would be put first in the dialogues with other religious groups. Jesus would recognize that God is the most powerful who would give him wisdom to communicate with others. Jesus would therefore never doubt the beliefs he holds regardless the challenge by other religious groups. He cannot go ahead to force people believe what He supports. He would give people a chance to make a choice on what to belief (Knitter, 2002).
Dialogue cannot continue if Jesus finds individuals who only aim at criticizing the beliefs that Jesus support. Some people would not be willing to listen to arguments posed by Jesus. The response by Jesus in this case is to walk away quietly. Jesus could not get angry with such an individual. However, he cannot allow people to ridicule his beliefs without a good reason. Furthermore, that is not the purpose of interreligious dialogue.
Confucius would also allow interrelation dialogue. However, he would have used a different approach as compared to that Jesus would have used. In the first place, Confucius would love to be listened first (Knitter, 2002). He would be not be interested in listening to ideas of the others so much. This is because the beliefs he held would not be substantiated by any scripture. The beliefs he held were based on traditions that were not justified. He emphasized on a traditional way of doing things. By avoiding listening and emphasizing on being listened to would ensure that his beliefs are not challenged.
If the other side engaged in criticizing Confucianism, Confucius would also engage in criticizing the other side. This is because the religion emphasized that one should do to others what they are also doing to you. Furthermore, Confucius believed that his beliefs were the best and should have been observed by others. Confucius would emphasize on his beliefs and prove that the beliefs of the others are flawed (Knitter, 2002).
Confucius would have no respect to other people professing a different religion. This is because he viewed other religions to be irrelevant. This would discourage the other party so that the dialogue ends. The major aim is to stop the dialogue to avoid being challenged since Confucius had no enough evidence to support the beliefs of his religion (Knitter, 2002).
Whenever Confucius finds a conflicting belief between his religion and other religion, he would strongly oppose the belief of the other individual. This can increase disagreements, which can make communication difficult. The belief that his beliefs are the best would make him stand strongly by his belief and fail to appreciate the conflicting belief.
Love is what would have encouraged Jesus to engage in interreligious dialogue. Jesus emphasized on love for the neighbors. Engaging in religious dialogue would give Jesus a chance to save individuals who follow their beliefs without much evidence. Jesus loves other people and would like to see them receive salvation (Knitter, 2002). Therefore, this love to others would make him interact with the non believers with the hope that they will realize the truth in Christianity teachings.
Civilization would be the element that would drive Confucius to engage in interreligious dialogue. His beliefs are that Confucius beliefs are the best and people should adopt it. Adopting the beliefs is part of civilization. His beliefs are supported by philosophical arguments. He would be persuaded by the need to educate people about his philosophical beliefs.
The approaches used by Jesus and Confucius are important in a way to their religion. The approach that Jesus would adopt of listening to other beliefs conflicting religion is important in giving Jesus a chance to be listened too. People may not be willing to you if you are not willing to listen to them also (Knitter, 2002). Carefully listening to the arguments of the other party facilitates continuous communication process so that the dialogue does not become difficult to proceed with. Listening approach would enable Jesus to identify flaws in other believers so that correcting them becomes possible.
Confession approach would be important in ensuring that the other religious group gets most of the concepts that are possessed by Jesus. This would help them evaluate the concepts hence doubts in the religious beliefs by others would reduce. This approach would show that Christian religion is universal and is meant for all people. It does not belong to Jesus.
Putting God first in the dialogue would ensure that Jesus is guided in the dialogue process so that he is courageous and informed in making his arguments. Integrity and respect would lead to respect to him also. It would ensure that there is understanding between the two parties regardless of their religious beliefs (Knitter, 2002).
Avoiding people who engage in criticizing each other’s religion is important in ensuring that respect for ones religion is protected. It helps to ensure that the parties involved in the dialogue do not anger each other, which can lead to violence. This act shows maturity in making arguments. Peace is maintained in such a case since persona conflicts do not arise.
In the Confucius side, reasons for the approach are different. Emphasizing on being listened to and listening less to other people’s views ensures that Confucius is not challenged since there are no significant facts to support Confucius religion. To avoid feeling of being defeated in the dialogue, Confucius will not listen (Knitter, 2002).
The approach of having no respect to other people is meant to discourage others from engaging in dialogue. Confucius leaves feeling having won the battle since people will get no chance to challenge his beliefs (Knitter, 2002).
Opposing the beliefs of the others ensures that the followers of conscious religion still have the courage to follow the religion. Since the religion has not supportive facts, this approach will enable Confucius to protect the beliefs in his religion (Knitter, 2002).
Knitter, P. F. (2002). Introducing theologies of religions. Maryknoll, N.Y: Orbis Books.