Interfaith and Dialogue at Pacific
The following words of Hans Küng, a leading theologian and religion scholar, nicely summarize one of the reasons why we take dialogue seriously at Pacific:
"No peace among the nations without peace among the religions. No peace among the religions without dialogue between the religions."
At Pacific we are passionate about dialogue. Dialogue is not about debate, point-scoring, apologetics, or proselytization. Dialogue is about listening to and speaking with the other, in the hope of learning and coming to a place of mutual understanding. Further, dialogue is not necessarily an attempt to find or only focus on things upon which we agree, or to reduce things to a lowest common denominator. True dialogue is about working through our deepest particularities with the other, and it need not mean that we lose them or become less committed to our own positions. However, it must be said that it is impossible not to be changed in some way or not to have gained understanding through the process. If not, such activity was more likely a monologue, and we have talked past each other.
At Pacific we are also passionate about interfaith. Interfaith, like religious dialogue, often has misconceptions associated with it, and the word interfaith can mean different things to different people. At Pacific, interfaith is not to be confused with starting a new religion that combines all others, or an attempt to promote the idea that "we really all believe the same things." Interfaith work and dialogue recognizes that we share some common goals and interests as people of faith (and those interested in faith and religious issues), even while it recognizes that we have, and will often keep, our religious distinctives. Further, when Pacific offers interfaith worship services, it does so in a sensitive manner, knowing that not all people will join in every aspect of the service, and students should feel free to engage in such services and its components to the level that they feel comfortable. We encourage all people, even those of no faith or of no religious tradition, to join us in exploring questions about, and learning from, the diversity of faiths, religions, and viewpoints that collectively make up Pacific and our world.
A note about the Better Together Campaign and Pacific
The Better Together Campaign is an international campaign that originated with the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC). Better Together promotes more than just interfaith cooperation. Through this campaign, students of various faith traditions and non-faiths have come together to promote justice through ACTION in their local communities.
Pacific students (and staff) regularly attend IFYC meetings to foster the development of interfaith leaders on campus. If you are interested in being a part of this work, call us at 209-946-2325 to learn more about the campaign and the work of Pacific's Interfaith Council. You can also Email us!