“There is No Relationship Beyond the Capacity for Transformation”: KAICIID Board Member Chief Rabbi Rosen to S. Africa Newspaper

29 August 2016
Chief Rabbi Rosen with His Holiness Pope Francis. Photo: Vatican Archives (Reproduced with permission)

Chief Rabbi David Rosen

In an interview with South African media organization “The Weekend Argus”, KAICIID Board Member Chief Rabbi David Rosen describes how his lifelong engagement with interreligious dialogue can be dated to his first encounter with it in Cape Town in the 1970s.

In an excerpt from the interview, he describes how he was “stunned to discover how ignorant other religious leaders were about me and my heritage, yet I reflected that I was part of the problem, too, as I didn’t know them and had all kinds of misconceptions”.

He understood that “to be represented correctly, I would need to represent them correctly myself, and I knew, with shared values, we all had an obligation to work together to celebrate the greater sum of our different parts”. He became “totally hooked”.

Chief Rabbi Rosen also reflects on the landmark nature of his participation on KAICIID’s Board, and ends the interview with a stirring reminder of the power of interreligious dialogue to create positive change.

In South Africa in part to join celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Catholic Church’s Nostra Aetate declaration (on Jewish-Christian relations), Chief Rabbi Rosen pointed out that “The global message is that if such a chronic relationship can be one that’s so good today it means there is no relationship beyond the capacity for transformation.”

Read the full interview here.