THE SIGNIFICANCE OF INTERFAITH DIALOGUE IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Since 1979 Iranian Revolution and particularly after the end of the Cold War, and most recently with September 11, there has been a growing interest in religion in social sciences. International Relations discipline has also witnessed an increasing interest in the role of religion in world politics. international governments have witnessed the need to understand religious sensitivities as a way to maintain international relations and cooperation with different states. Beginning from 1990s, the role of religion in international relations has started to be reexamined; and secularization theory has started to be criticized. On the other hand, religion has started to be regarded as a tool for peacebuilding, at the same time. In addition to its contribution to conflicts and wars, religion is increasingly seen as a potential tool for peaceful cooperation; and inter-religious dialogue is becoming a part of diplomacy and conflict resolution policies. . In short, religion has always been important in shaping the world.This research Project will provide an overview on the historical and contemporary relation between religion and international relations by focusing on the role of interfaith dialogue. The main concern of this study is to raise a question about the role of interfaith dialogue in ?nternational relations ,and its effects on economy and social life.
Throughout history, religion has had great influences on people. On one hand,it has contributed to social change and world peace. On the other hand, religion has contributed to wars all over the world. Considering all these historical and current important positive and negative effects of religion over the world this research will provide a frame work for the role of ?nterfaith dialogue among states. Today, many scholars accept that there is an unprecedented level of interaction between people of different faiths around the world, due to patterns of rapid mobility, mass communication, and the spread of market capitalism. .This is the main reason why this study has a specific focus on interfaith dialogue.
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
Interfaith dialogue garnered considerable positive attention after September 11, 2001. This research will critically examin the expectations of interfaith dialogue by clarifying explicit and implicit suppositions of to what extent the interfaith dialogue contribute the Global Peace. Non governmental Organisations can contribute positively to the process if they can remain biased.
In 2007, the United Nations (UN) held sessions on interfaith dialogue, and the Assembly President suggested, ”Promoting a true dialogue among civilizations and religions is perhaps the most important political instrument that we can use to reach out across borders and build bridges of peace and hope.” This UN-sponsored dialogue marked unprecedented international attention in the secular halls of diplomacy. ( PEACE & CHANGE, Vol. 36, No. 3, July 2011/ 2011 Peace History Society and Peace and Justice Studies Association )
Now it is time for those who support and understand the importance of a peaceful coexistence between believers of different faiths, and those who recognize such coexistence as being a cornerstone to global peace and justice. They must now take the initiative to support those who are working desperately to prevent fanaticism, conflict, and violence. But fulfillment of this goal will be accomplished one step at a time, through the behavior of people who belong to different religions and cultures as they speak with and get to know each other, discovering their commonalities while respecting their differences and individual rights to privacy. This goal will not be achieved by declarations and recommendations only, particularly at the elite level, but primarily through institutional work of the international organizations, the civil societies, and governments. This work must include and reach out to politicians, decision makers, community leaders, and—most importantly—people at the grassroots level. One of the variables is the key leaders and policymakers and of course the attitude og NGOs.
“In order to attain a global environment of peace and justice, it is necessary for different faith groups to have mutual respect for each other, even if they disagree with each other’s opinions.” (Tayseir M. Mandour, Islam and Religious Freedom: Role of Interfaith Dialogue in Promoting Global Peace , 2010)
The perception of youth for peace and justice is directly connected with the education policies of the states.So youth and their approach to interfaith dialogue is an independent variable for my research.
The literature on youth and interfaith has been very limited. This article ” Youth in interfaith dialogue: Intercultural understanding and its implications on education in the Philippines ” by Jayeel S. CornelioMax Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity / Ateneo de Manila UniversityTimothy Andrew E. Salera Ateneo de Manila University addresses this gap by probing the significance or impact of interfaith on the views of the youth respondents on other religions..
“The view of our youth respondents show that interfaith dialogues do not have to begin and end in theological discussions. To them, the significance of interfaith revolves around the person (and not his or her religion), friendships, and collective participation in the community.”( Jayeel S. Cornelio Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity / Ateneo de Manila University Timothy Andrew E. Salera Ateneo de Manila University)
Interfaith dialogue is a type of dialogue at both individual and institutional level, based on the aim to reach a mutual understanding between different faiths .The role of religion in society and politics can vary among different states within the same region who belong to the same religious tradition, or who have similar regimes so this study is will deal with peace, war, values, human nature and violence , location and economic conditions of the states as independent variables to create a better understanding for the importance of the dialogue between religions in International Relation.The approach to religion and interfaith dialogue is influenced greatly by all these concepts.More specifically the following questions need to be addressed:
1. How can religion be used as a major force for unification among states?
2. What does interfaith dialogue refer exactly?
3. What are the influences of the religious proclivities of the key leaders on international relations?
4. How does economic status and education policies affect the tendency of the states to contribute the interfaith dialogue?
The main and the Research Question of my proposal is
5. To what extent interfaith dialogues contribute the global peace in terms of the status of economy ,education and the contribution of NGOs?
Having a better understanding of this phenomenon the best methods will be a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. The primary research method for this study will be literature review .In order to measure the effect of economy on faithful dialogues for peace I will use statistics technique. I am going to choose to use survey research as well as investigation of academic materials.in order to measure how important the religious tendency of the key leaders for constructing faithful dialogues .I also will be collecting information by in -depth interviews and internet survey to measure the importance of the approaches of NGOs.