I am delighted that a student whose honors thesis I am currently supervising will be presenting at this year’s Undergraduate Research Conference at Butler University. Here are the details about the presentation:
Rachel Koehler Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): James McGrath Butler University
Today, there is an ongoing debate within and between different faiths regarding the correct way to interact with religious diversity. For example, exclusive language is found in several religions, which states that individuals can only experience the Ultimate through a specific faith practice. This belief directly challenges the relevance of interreligious dialogue, but a spectrum exists amongst adherents of different faith communities in how they understand religious diversity amid absolute truth claims in their own tradition. The goal of my research is to illustrate this debate, so my audience has a foundation on which to build. Then, I will introduce my case study on the Center for Interfaith Cooperation (CIC), which is a local organization that seeks peaceful dialogue in an interfaith setting. I have and will continue to interview board members within the CIC to get their perspective on why interfaith work is so important. Their input is meant to add to the conversation not to provide an inerrant approach to religious diversity. It is my attempt to merely record their oral histories rather than reach a conclusive answer to the debate.
My hope is that through this project people will be able to recognize the importance of interreligious dialogue and gain some insight on how dedicated members of the CIC have reconciled interfaith to their own faith. Hate crimes against religious communities is a real, current threat, so conversations that unite rather than divide are extremely important.
Philosophy & Religion 202:00 PMJordan Hall 336C