The common volatility of religious encounters cannot be denied based on evidence. However, in the globalized world, many religions and cultures are striving towards peaceful co-existence. A large aspect of this continuum of contemporary religiosity should become theological humility, a characteristic that includes both modesty and self-esteem. It is a neutral stance that does not seek to be arrogant through degradation and conflict, but also a principle of self-realization and a reflection of trust in faith and the “essential disposition to the world around them” (Joseph, 2005: 7). The Encountering Religion course content such as this has influenced the perception of religious interaction, suggesting that many faiths are inherently good. In a globalized world, religions contribute a great deal to modern culture and positive world perspectives, with many demonstrating the utmost respect for each other.
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The importance of religion and its role in peacebuilding has become widely recognized in both scholarly research and political frameworks. More governmental and non-governmental organizations are actively becoming involved in religious literacy for grassroots communities in an attempt to combat radicalism and extremism. It is becoming evident that religious leaders and communities are crucial in promoting religious literacy and building collaboration at all levels, from individual and family levels to national interreligious peacebuilding via policy and political structures (Abu-Nimer, 2015: 27).
Other spiritual traditions should be approached with openness and receptivity instead of attempting to justify one religion over another. All religions inherently promote openness and respect as a manner of achieving the “freedom” of the mind. It can be argued that no matter the faith, all religions seek to achieve a spiritual state in the afterlife and should collaborate to achieve it. The ideal future would be one where humankind can put aside differences and search for common enlightenment and peace (“With One Voice – Trailer”). The resources in the Encountering Religion course demonstrate that both from an institutional and a spiritual perspective, faiths are seeking to establish balance and focus on religious peacebuilding. When modern news constantly highlights the volatility and violence of religious interactions, learning about significantly more harmonious approaches is encouraging.
Abu-Nimer, Mohammed. “Religion and Peacebuilding: Reflections on Current Challenges and Future Prospects”. Journal of Interreligious Studies, vol. 16, 2015, pp. 14-29.
Joseph, Howard. Humility: The Ethic of Faith. 2005, Web.
“With One Voice – Trailer.” YouTube, uploaded by AliveNow. 2009, Web.