Monastic Interreligious Dialogue
Promote and support dialogue at the level of religious experience and practice, between Christian monastic men and women and followers of other religions.
In response to a 1957 encyclical by Pope Pius XII, the Benedictine and Cistercian monastic orders began establishing monasteries. In 1960 an Alliance for International Monasticism was established to support this expansion. Superiors of the new monasteries met in Africa in 1964 and again in 1968 in Thailand. Then, in October 1973 a historic interfaith gathering of monastics took place in Bangalore, India. The topic was The Experience of God. As a result of that meeting, Rome asked the Benedictine Order to become actively involved in interreligious dialogue, since "monasticism is the bridge between religions". Commissions for Monastic Interreligious Dialogue were established in Europe and North America in 1978. The General Secretariat was established in 1994.
Dialogue is primarily with monastics of other religions and deals mainly with religious experience and practice. Dialogue with members of other religions who are not monks is also mainly at the level of religious experience and practice.
Main Focus Countries of Activities
France - Belgium - Switzerland - Germany - Austria - UK - Ireland - Hungary - Spain - Portugal - Denmark - Iceland - Norway - Sweden - Finland - USA - Canada - India - Sri Lanka - Australia