ICCJ International Abrahamic Forum

During 11-12 December, the Steering Committee of our Abrahamic Forum held its first meeting at the Martin Buber House in Heppenheim. Three members of the committee - one Muslim, one Christian and one Jew- were asked to prepare 20-minute presentations on why each considers trialogue to be important, before discussion of each paper by the rest of the steering committee.

Mr Abdessalam Naijar (Wahat al-Salam/Neve Shalom) emphasized the need for trialogue now that we live in a “global village” and explained that this involves recognizing the “other” as relevant and significant; Rev Canon Hosam Naoum (St. George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem) discussed the importance of hospitality within the Abrahamic traditions and the need for shared experiences and acceptance of diversity; and Prof Reuven Firestone (Hebrew Union College, LA) suggested that we need to break down the narratives held by each religious tradition, and convince everyone that it is in the best interest of all our faith communities to invest resources and energies in promoting cooperation, understanding and peace.

After a fascinating discussion of these papers, we took part in an advanced interfaith facilitation workshop, led by Ms Debbie Danon (Three Faiths Forum, London) and then planned the Abrahamic Forum and YLC workshops for the ICCJ conference in Manchester, 1-4 July 2012.

For a full report of the meeting, see http://www.iccj.org/Media.3672.0.html