Fortress Press

Moving Beyond the Impasse: Reorienting Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations

Moving Beyond the Impasse

Reorienting Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations

S. Wesley Ariarajah (Author)


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Interfaith dialogue in a plural world

This volume is based on the belief that both the ecumenical and interfaith movements are looking for new orientations for their future. The forces of globalization, communications revolution, and massive population movements challenge some of the theological assumptions and presuppositions on which they were built. The entry of deep and divisive religious sentiments into the public space and the rise of militant forms of religious expression call on the interfaith movement to move beyond traditional forms of dialogue; the challenge is to enter into a deeper engagement on the purpose and role of religious traditions in society. The impasse facing these movements can only be overcome by new orientations as they look to the future. This volume is not specifically on this problem. However, the collection of essays included in this volume, although first given as lectures or written as articles, traces past developments, identifies the challenges these movements face today, and suggests fresh theological moves to regain the initiatives to bring human communities closer together.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506446325
  • eBook ISBN 9781506446332
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 248
  • Publication Date October 1, 2018


Anyone interested in the points where ecumenical and interfaith dialogue intersect will be grateful to have access to these sources

"S. Wesley Ariarajah has been an ecumenical and interfaith witness in the movements of our time–a witness both in the sense of shaping those movements through the contribution of his own testimony and in the sense of carefully and insightfully reporting their dynamics. Moving Beyond the Impasse collects a string of essays, each a pearl of such witness. One is a masterful first-person history of the World Council of Churches' response to religious plurality. Another is a succinct and telling exploration of the nature of scripture in various religious traditions, and the way this knowledge may inform Christian approaches to the Bible. Yet another recovers the largely-lost history of the contribution of Asian participants in the 1910 Edinburgh mission conference. Anyone interested in the points where ecumenical and interfaith dialogue intersect will be grateful to have ready access to these sources, indispensable for their scholarship as well as for their pioneering constructive formulations." 

S. Mark Heim | Samuel Abbot Professor of Theology/Andover Newton Seminary at Yale

The wisdom of ecumenists like S. Wesley Ariarajah will prove enduring.

"These essays, written since the turn of the new century, nevertheless give us valuable historical perspective on the (wider) ecumenism over the last 100 years by a senior statesman in the field. Yet such 'looking back' also provides us perspective for next steps, for Christian mission, for theological education, and for the encounter between religions in a pluralistic globe. In a time when Left versus Right is increasingly obsolete, perhaps a new catholicity can emerge, and for such a time and task as this, the wisdom of ecumenists like Wesley Ariarajah will prove enduring."

Amos Yong | Fuller Theological Seminary