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Interreligious Dialogue: Theology and Practice

TEO 120   Interreligious Dialogue: Theology and Practice

Class hours: 21

Credits (ECTS): 

LM-OTSpecialization in Theology

Year: 1st–2nd

Term: 4th
Biennally a.y. 2022-23

LM-CUSpecialization in Communication Peace and Dialogue

Course held in Italian

Part I
An inherent tension crosses through Christian faith between fidelity to one’s own identity and – in the wake of the missionary mandate – openness towards the ‘other’. Jesus Christ is the Saviour, because he is the “only mediator between God and men” (cf. 1 Tim 2: 5), and for this he wants all men to be saved (cf 1 Tim 2, 4). He is the fulfilment of Israel’s faith and promise, but He is also – as Christian tradition testifies – the fulfilment of the aspiration and religious history of the whole of humanity at all times and places. So what is the meaning of the existence of other religious traditions in the unitary plan of salvation?
Through a historical analysis, during the course we will try to question Revelation first, starting from the Old and New Testaments, about this question. A theological interpretation of the axiom “extra Ecclesiam nulla salus”, coined in the first centuries of Christianity, will follow, reconstructing its history up to the present day. The study culminates with the analysis of the theological debate of the twentieth century that precedes and prepares the Declaration of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council on the relationship of the Church with the non-Christian religions “Nostra Aetate”.
Selected theological themes will then be studied concerning the salvific initiative of the Father, the universal mediation of Jesus Christ, the universality of the gift of the Holy Spirit, the role of the Church in the universal plan of salvation.

Part II
The second part of the course will explore the experience and theology of dialogue with the faithful of other religious traditions in the light of the charism of unity. Starting from the birth and development of the relationship that Chiara Lubich and the Focolare Movement have established with followers of Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and traditional religions, their specific contribution to the different typologies of dialogue will be highlighted. The course will explain the types of dialogue outlined in the official documents of the Catholic Church: dialogue of life, dialogue of works, dialogue of experts and dialogue of religious experience.
The consonances between the development of the conciliar and post-conciliar Magisterium and the dialogue born of the charism of unity confirm the co-essentiality between the Petrine profile and the Marian profile of the Church (John Paul II). We will also discuss areas of research especially in light of the birth and development of renewal movements within the various religions (Rissho Kosei kai, movement of Fetulal Gulen, followers of Imam WD Mohammad, Gandhian movements) that are proving to be effective ways of dialogue between religions.

Bibliographical references:

Documents of the Church Magisterium: John Paul II, Discourse to the Roman Curia, 22 December 1986

Writings of Chiara Lubich:

  • with Igino Giordani, Erano i tempi di guerra …. Agli albori dell’Ideale dell’unità, Città Nuova, Roma 2007
  • La dottrina spirituale, Città Nuova, Roma, 2006; English translation by Tom Masters, Essential Writings, Edited by Michel Vandeleene, New City Press, 2007
  • L’arte di amare, Città Nuova, Roma 2005
  • Possono le religioni essere partners sul cammino della pace?, intervento all’assemblea del Movimento Iniziativa e rinnovamento, Caux (Svizzera), 29.07.2003
  • Una via nuova. La spiritualità dell’unità, Città Nuova, Roma 2002
  • Incontri con l’Oriente, Città Nuova, Roma 1987
  • L’unità e Gesù Abbandonato, Città Nuova Editrice, Roma 1984
  • Discorso di accettazione del Premio Templeton,  Londra 1977

Books about Chiara Lubich and the Focolare Movement:

  • Bosquet Cinto, Incontrarsi nell’amore. Una lettura cristiana di Nikkyō Niwano, Città Nuova, Roma, 2009
  • Catalano Roberto, Spiritualità di comunione e dialogo interreligioso. L-esperienza di Chiara Lubich e del Movimento dei Focolari, Città Nuova, Roma, 2010
  • Cocchiaro Matilde, Nel deserto fiorisce la fraternità. Ulisse Caglioni fra i musulmani, Città Nuova, Roma, 2006
  • Coda Piero, Nella Mosche di Malcolm X. Con Chiara Lubich negli Stati Uniti e in Messico, Città Nuova, Roma 1997
  • Fondi Enzo Maria e Zanzucchi Michele, Un popolo nato dal Vangelo,. Chiara Lubich ed il Movimento dei Focolari, Edizioni San Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo, Milano, 2003
  • Zanzucchi Michele, Le Millelune, Città Nuova, Roma 2001

Other texts:

  • Canobbio G, Nessuna salvezza fuori della Chiesa. Storia e senso di un controverso principio teologico, Queriniana, Brescia 2009
  • Coda P., Il logos e il nulla. Trinità, religioni, mistica, Città Nuova, Roma 2003
  • Chidi Dennis Isizoh ( a cura di), Milestones in Interreligious Dialogue. A Reading of Selected Catholic Church Documents on Relations with People of Other Religions. Essays in Honour of Francis Cardinal Arinze. Ceedee Publications, Roma e Lagos, 2002
  • de Lubac Henry., Catholicisme. Les aspects sociaux du dogme, Cerf, Paris, 1938, V ed. rivista
  • Di Pilato V., All’incontro con Dio. In dialogo con la teologia di Hans Waldenfels, Città Nuova, Roma 2006
  • Dupuis Jacques, Il cristianesimo e le religioni. Dallo scontro all’incontro, Queriniana, Brescia 2001
  • Fitzgerald Michael, Dio sogna l’unità. I cattolici e le religioni, Città Nuova, Roma 2007
  • Gronchi Maurizio (a cura di), La salvezza degli altri. Soteriologia e religioni, S.Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo, 2004
  • Guzzetti Cherubino Mario, Islam in preghiera, Roma, 1991
  • Mitchell Donald W., Kenosi e nulla assoluto, Città Nuova, 1993
  • Niwano Nikkyo, A Buddhist Approach to Pace, Kosei, Tokyo 1978
  • Rahner Karl, Corso fondamentale sulla fede, Edizioni Paoline, Alba 1977
  • Sesboüé Bernard., Fuori della Chiesa nessuna salvezza? Storia di una formula e problemi di interpretazione, San Paolo, Milano 2009
  • Terrin Aldo N., La ricerca di Dio nelle religioni, Bologna 1980
  • Whaling Frank, Christian Theology and World Religions: A Global Approach, London 1986
  • AA.VV., Twenty five Years of the Focolare Movement in India, Focolare Movement, St. Paul’s Publications, Mumbai, 2005

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