The view from the ditch: bar none & none barred in christian-muslim relations

Type
Thesis
Category
Online DMin Project  [ Browse Items ]
Edition
English 
Publication Year
2014 
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Abstract
The Demonstration Project is an experiment in an alternative to traditional interfaith dialogue, in which the main activity is listening to religious leaders or talking about religion in small groups. First Community is a primarily white, upper middle-class congregation whose members have little personal experience with Muslim people. For this reason, their knowledge about Muslims is limited to what they see and read in the media, where the picture of a violent extremist is the predominant image of followers of Islam. The project tested a light hearted, low stakes team building activity to allow Muslims and Christians to work collaboratively and get to know each other as people, before they entered into dialogue about their faith traditions. Using qualitative research, the project demonstrated that one-to-one contact in a fun environment is an effective opening to deeper dialogue. When people from First Community Church were able to “rub elbows” with their Muslim neighbors, they come to understand that they share common values and a common faith in God. The dissertation includes a review of social identity theory, a sampling of Muslim-Christian partnerships in the midwestern United States, an examination of the Common Word initiative, and an exegesis of the parable of the Good Samaritan as it can be applied to multifaith engagement.  
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