Inner interreligious dialogue in global Christianity – a consideration of case studies from Korea and Southern Africa
Keywords: interfaith-dialogue, Christianity, Africa, Korea, hybridity, history, plurality, theology
AbstractThis article discusses the issue of plurality in world Christianity. Considering two contemporary contexts, South Korea and Southern Africa, this article claims that the interreligious pluralities as evidenced in much of contemporary Christianity are tobe understood in continuity with some of the foundational experiences of the early church, especially in the city of Antioch. This plurality, which can also be described as hybridity, acquires intercultural theological significance when understood as inner interreligious dialogue. This is further described as a mostly subconscious process by which contemporary Christians continue to engage with their pre-Christian traditions. From a phenomenological point of view this process is demonstrable in Christian history. Theologically speaking it has the potential to debunk myths of Christian ‘purity’ and to expose fundamentalists’ assertions of their own ‘orthodoxy’ astantamount to wishful thinking. Finally, this article makes the case that this process of inner interreligious dialogue, when brought to the surface may positively enhance the quality of real outward dialogue with representatives of other faiths or systems of belief and value.