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    Muslim, Buddhist, American Indian:
     
    [ 作者: Dawn Gibeau   来自:期刊原文   已阅:3778   时间:2007-1-5   录入:douyuebo


    ·期刊原文
    Muslim, Buddhist, American Indian:
    Quincentenary sparks non-Christian talks. (Interfaith Section -Catholic ecumenism)
    by Dawn Gibeau
    National Catholic Reporter

    Vol.29 No.1( Oct 23, 1992)
    Pp.18
    COPYRIGHT National Catholic Reporter 1992

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious
                Affairs sounds redundant, but John Borelli, an associate director in
                that National Conference of Catholic Bishops agency, explained
                recently that ecumenical relations are not the same as
                interreligious ones.
                Ecumenism refers to dialogue between Christians, he told NCR. It
                often deals with theological questions and issues of history and
                church order and structure, because its ultimate aim is church
                unity, he said. Borelli is in charge of the NCCB's ecumenical
                relations with Orthodox churches.
                Interreligious relations, he explained, are those with Jews,
                Muslims, Buddhists, American Indians, Hindus and other people of
                faith who are not Christian. Goals can vary, but often talks seek
                mutual understanding.
                For example, Catholics and Muslims may find "similarities in
                identification of God, worship of God, understanding of scripture"
                and in practice "because we're descendants from the same Abrahamic
                faith," he said. "With Islam, understanding is a very important
                goal, because much of our history has been one of misunderstanding,"
                and often relations have been combative.
                Talks at the local level often concentrate on specific concerns
                about schools and neighborhoods, Borelli said; for instance, the
                presence of drugs or guns in schools or assessment of how textbooks
                present the faiths.
                Borelli directs the NCCB's interreligious relationships with all but
                Jews. Eugene Fisher is in charge of the dialogues with Jews (see
                related story).
                In Borelli's domain, the only national dialogue is with Muslims, and
                it began last October with an introductory session. At this year's
                October meeting, Catholics will explain mission and evangelization,
                be said, and Muslims will explain dawah, which is an Arabic word
                that means invitation, the invitation to Islam. "They're sort of
                parallel concepts," he said.
                The national dialogue is an outgrowth of dialogues in U.S. cities
                such as Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago and Boston (NCR, Feb. 8,1991).
               
                National dialogues are difficult to structure with Muslims,
                Buddhists and other groups that have no national structure, Borelli
                said. In contrast, he explained that the Orthodox Church has its
                Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in America, SCOBA,
                with an ecumenical committee that appoints theologians to national
                talks. In tandem, the NCCB has its ecumenical and interreligious
                relations secretariat.
                With faiths that lack such structures, Borelli's work tends to be
                more multilateral than bilateral he said. For instance, he has
                spoken at sessions of Buffalo Area Metropolitan Ministry, which
                originated as a council of churches but expanded to an interfaith
                council to embrace Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Sikhs.
                "On a national level, there really isn't a place for an organization
                that's able to draw together various religious groups in any kind of
                official capacity," Borelli said. So he will work with a group such
                as the World Conference on Religion and Peace, which has a U.S.
                chapter in New York and is a nongovernmental organization at the
                United Nations.
                Besides such multilateral encounters, bilateral discussions
                proliferate at the local level, he said. For instance, Buddhists are
                diverse - "many Japanese Buddhists, some Chinese Buddhists, many
                Southeast Asian Buddhists ... and a good many (U.S. natives) who
                have taken up Buddhism as their faith.'
                Yet, "where you find Buddhism, you'll find a sangha, the community
                of monks," and that council often engages in dialogue with
                Catholics, as it does with the Los Angeles archdiocese.
                And in Hawaii, where Buddhism is the second-largest faith community
                after Christianity, "there's kind of a conciliar relationship
                involving various Christian and Buddhist groups," Borelli said.
                These deal with social questions, he said, or with questions of
                prayer and spirituality in which the two sides "can instruct and
                learn from one another. I think in the area particularly of what we
                in the Christian tradition would call contemplative prayer, we're
                finding an overlapping of interest between Christians and
                Buddhists."
                And Borelli has been involved in meetings such as a recent
                Buddhist-Christian conference that involved scholars from the United
                States and Asia. A subgroup that's made up of Christian scholars,
                mostly theologians and some historians of religion like myself, and
                Buddhists" also has been meeting separately for about 10 years, he
                said.
                With Hindus, dialogue is limited to a few local encounters such as
                one in Los Angeles, Borelli said. "I have friends who are Hindus,
                and I know one or two places where academic things are going on that
                have engaged people quite personally," he said.
                He keeps up contacts with Hindus, being responsible to answer
                questions that arise about Hinduism, he said, but nothing official
                is going on in Catholic-Hindu relations because the U.S. Hindu
                community is small. Borelli is also responsible for dialogue with
                American Indians, but not for the two-thirds of American Indians he
                said are Christian.
                The Catholics' Tekakwitha Conference "brings together Native
                American Catholics who are engaged in evangelization," he said, and
                they conduct an internal dialogue about the relationship between
                Catholicism and American Indian traditional religions.
                And he participates in discussions with non-Christian, American
                Indian traditionalists. Academic conferences take place, and "a good
                many things have been happening in this past year" arising from the
                quincentenary of Columbus' arrival in America, he said. "So the kind
                of academic-style dialogue that goes on among all these various
                faith groups goes on with Native Americans, too."
      


     

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