Interfaith Dialogue in an African Context

Falres Ipyana Ilomo


This paper is going to discuss about the process of interfaith dialogue in an African perspective. The type of interfaith dialogue shall be different from the traditional Western perspective. In a traditional form, normally dialogue involves the so called world major religions namely, Christianity and Islam only. Both of these two religions are foreign religions originated from the Middle East. In African perspective the two religions are foreign, therefore, according to science of religions, they are known as secondary religious experience. However, the African religion to Africans is primary religious experience at the same time this religion is the host to the two religions (Islam and Christianity).This study shall propose the dialogue to be carried out in a  modern  way, unlike the traditional one. In this new type of dialogue, African religion shall be treated equally with other foreign religions. The objective of this dialogue is to learn to tolerate as well as enriching from each other. The study shows that from the end of the 19th  and beginning of 20th century, the Roman Catholic Church did not recognize whether Africans had a religion at all. However, from 1969 up to 1993, the Roman Catholic Church started to recognize the African religion. A contribution to interfaith dialogue by Western, Asian and African scholars in Religions shall give a great contribution to the study of interfaith dialogue in a new perspective.

Keywords: dialogue of living together, convivenz, second Vatican Council, primary and secondary religious experiences

DOI: 10.7176/JPCR/52-03

Publication date: February 28th 2021


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