Interreligious Dialogue as a „Life Necessity” in the Teaching of Benedict XVI

  • Roman Słupek Pontifical Faculty of Theology
Keywords: interreligious dialogue; Benedict XVI; truth; relativism; fundamentalism; dignity of human person; religious freedom; evangelization


Benedict XVI, identifying himself as “the apostle of dialogue and the man of peace”, makes an important contribution to the interreligious dialogue. The Pope indicates, that this dialogue cannot be treated as a “temporary choice”, but the future depends on it, it is a “life necessity”.

In development of this dialogue today there appear some obstacles. One of the main goals of the interreligious dialogue is to seek the truth together, and the essential source of numerous impediments preventing it is an erroneous way of approaching truth. It can take a form of relativism, which denies existence of any truth, or a form of religious fundamentalism that claims the right to impose it.

In order to prevent interreligious dialogue from leading to religious syncretism and to confusion in those who participate in it, it is necessary to respect certain basic rules. Benedict XVI lists the following as the most important ones: rule of reciprocity, rule of keeping own identity and accepting identity of interlocutor, respecting every human person and uniting dialogue with proclamation of the Gospel.