The greatest religions are all, in fact, very simple. They all retain very important essential differences, no doubt, but in their inner reality Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism are extremely simple… and they all end up with the simplest and most baffling thing of all: direct confrontation with Absolute Being, Absolute Love, Absolute Mercy or Absolute Void, by an immediate and fully awakened engagement in the living of everyday life. In Christianity the confrontation is theological and affective, through word and love.†
Thomas Merton (1968)
The Christian way of contemplation is marked by the search for the God who seeks us and draws us into loving union. Grounded in this Christian understanding, we are drawn to understand and share with those from other traditions who follow the way of contemplation.
These encounters are grounded in the four principles of interfaith dialogue, agreed by the British Council of Churches (www.ctbi.org.uk/CDA/110):
• Dialogue begins when people meet each other.
• Dialogue depends upon mutual understanding and mutual trust.
• Dialogue makes it possible to share in service to the community.
• Dialogue becomes the medium of authentic witness.
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