The Fifth Loyola Hall Symposium took place from 12-14 March 2018 at the Jesuit centre, Loyola Hall, in Lahore. The theme of this year’s symposium was Hermeneutics of Dialogue: Reflecting from an Interreligious Perspective.
The Loyola Hall Symposia series began in 2013 as an attempt to build on the pioneering work of Fr Robert Butler SJ, who dedicated himself to Christian-Muslim dialogue at a scholarly level for over 25 years. The Loyola Hall Symposia series hopes to build interreligious understanding in the very challenging and difficult reality of today’s Pakistan.
About 20 Muslim and Christian scholars gathered for the Symposium during which eight papers were shared, each followed by very deep and engaging discussion. The Symposium aimed to promote deeper engagement in interreligious dialogue by looking at the attitudes, skills and theological reflection needed to undertake this crucial venture for our world today. A brief look at some of the titles of the papers indicates how deeply this was done:
- “Setting the Stage for true Dialogue”
- “Theological Foundations of Interreligious Dialogue in Islam”
- “Dialogue with the Religious Other: Hermeneutical Challenges”
- “What is Truth?”
- “The Underpinnings of Interreligious Dialogue in Christianity”
- “The Qur’anic Underpinnings of Interreligious Dialogue”
- “Biblical Perspectives of Dialogue”.
In the challenging and fearful context of Pakistan today, it is heartening to know that many committed and faithful Muslims and Christians are working to build understanding and harmony for the greater good. Long may it continue.
Fr Liam O’Callghan