Dialogue Knowledge Hub
Using the Peacemap
This is the KAICIID Peace Map. It is an online directory of organizations promoting interreligious dialogue (IRD) internationally. Although the majority of the organizations that are working in IRD on an international level are headquartered in the ‘global north’, IRD is used worldwide.
The Peace Map offers global insight into IRD. For instance, examining organizations in the database such as ‘Palpung Sherabling Monastic Seat’ will show their Headquarters as well as some of their offices.
In most of the cases, international IRD organizations have more activities around the world than just the offices displayed on the Peace Map. YMCA is a good example: it conducts IRD activities almost all over the world.
Click on any country on the Peace Map to see organizations with offices in a country. The Peace Map highlights the ‘Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa’, the ‘John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’ and the ‘International Institute of Islamic Thought’ that have offices in the country. In addition to this, it displays 39 international organizations (and their headquarters) that are active in Nigeria.
This adds a fascinating dimension to our understanding of IRD activities on an international level. They are highly interconnected and we should try to learn more about this.
Conventional wisdom says that the field of interreligious dialogue (IRD) is static and ritualised. The KAICIID Peace Map challenges this assumption: the Peace Map lists in the IRD Directory over 450 organizations that employ interreligious dialogue with an international outlook. This field is highly dynamic, as between 2000 and 2010, the field experienced a significant growth peak.
One of the main features of the Peace Map is the 'time line' option (bottom-left part of the screen) that adds a historical dimension to the present day IRD activities that are included in the IRD Directory:
Initially, the time line reiterates the impression one gets at the first glance; as far as the headquarters of IRD organizations with an international outreach are concerned (not including their activities) there is a strong presence in North America and Europe. However, headquarters can be found all over the world as well. In addition, this particular display of the data in the directory helps us understand two other characteristics of the development that led to the present-day IRD landscape around the world: (a) Many of the organizations presently using IRD have roots going back centuries, although they may have begun using IRD more recently, and (b) the majority of the organizations included in the Peace Map IRD Directory were founded in the last fifteen years.
Finally, it is possible to note a very recent slowdown in the number of new organizations in this IRD field over the last five years. Does that mean that IRD development has passed its peak? To avoid drawing the wrong conclusion from the Peace Map, more data and research will be needed to answer this question.