Frequently Asked Questions
What is Interreligious Dialogue?
While the word "dialogue" can often simply refer to conversation between different people, KAICIID understands “dialogue” - whether inter- or intra-religious, intercultural, or inter-civilizational – as a form of interaction between two or more persons of different identities that emphasizes self-expression and reciprocal listening without passing judgment, in an intellectual and compassionate spirit of openness to mutual learning with deep transformative potential. Interreligious dialogue, often also referred to as interfaith dialogue, is about people of different religious identities seeking and coming to mutual understanding and respect that allows them to live and cooperate with each other in spite of their differences.
The exponential growth in the practice of dialogue in the last half a century, especially interreligious dialogue, has led to deep transformations in both theological perceptions and interreligious collaborations for justice and peace. Both interreligious and intercultural dialogue contribute to a paradigm shift away from winning arguments for controlling results, towards collective and inclusive decision-making for a sustainable common good. Dialogue is at the heart of positive peacebuilding, its processes are in all phases, from prevention of conflicts, to peacemaking and postconflict rebuilding. At KAICIID, dialogue is both a means and an end, from conception of strategy and delivery of programmes, to impact assessment.
When KAICIID facilitates dialogues on difficult topics, it plays a third-party mediating role somewhere between track 1 and track 2 diplomacy. In KAICIID’s theory of change, dialogue is a method for deep social transformation, which advocacy cannot achieve. While KAICIID strives to remain impartial when convening a dialogue on any topic, its use of a value-based transformative and inclusive approach to dialogue contributes to promoting human rights and responsibilities.
What does KAICIID do? What makes KAICIID different?
KAICIID works to promote interreligious dialogue as a mechanism for peace: we facilitate dialogue between followers of different religions and cultures. We do this through our policy network, through our public events, through convening religious leaders, policy makers and experts. We conduct trainings: in interreligious dialogue, in dialogue methodology, in ways that different groups of people can use or benefit from dialogue in different contexts. We are working with mediation experts to establish Track 1.5 diplomacy that will bring together governmental, intergovernmental, civil society and religious leaders. We are conducting research into interreligious dialogue: into the ways in which people have used dialogue for peace in the past, and the ways in which it impacts society.
Dialogue also means partnerships. KAICIID concluded cooperation agreements with leading actors in the field of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, including the African Union, ISESCO, the World Scouts Foundation, and the University of Montreal. In this month, UNESCO’s Executive Board will be considering a cooperation agreement with KAICIID and already we work together on projects. We are also engaged in close partnerships with Religions for Peace, United Religions Initiative and other non-governmental bodies.
In sum, KAICIID works with many partners and in many regions for one purpose: to empower organizations already working on the promotion of dialogue around the world.