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Jordan's Role in Global Inter-faith Dialogue Initiatives

Abstract:
Facilitating Christian-Muslim dialogue on an international level is a serious challenge which raises questions of representation and legitimacy. At the same time, interfaith and intra-faith dialogue is more needed now than ever before, within the current atmosphere of heightened (and violent) sectarian tensions within Islam as well as global Islam-West tensions, which are so often (mis)labeled as Muslim-Christian tensions.

In the last decade two important international interfaith and intrafaith initiatives have emerged from Jordan, namely the Amman Message (2004) and the open letter “A Common Word Between Us and You” (2007). Both aim at addressing faith-related tensions on an international scale from a Muslim perspective, identifying important theological principles within Islam which help to clarify Islam’s “true nature” and provide a bridge through which is can communicate with other faiths, especially Christianity.

Jordan’s own history of Christian-Muslim coexistence, as well the royal family’s descent from the family of the Prophet Mohammad, lend them respect and credibility as dialogue facilitators.

Biography:
Dr. des. Sarah Markiewicz is a Research and Teaching Associate at the Department of Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Her research interests include interfaith dialogue and intercultural communication, with a special focus on Christian-Muslim relations. Sarah’s doctoral dissertation explored the genesis and fruits of an international Muslim dialogue initiative, which emerged from Jordan in 2007, called “A Common Word Between Us and You”. She has recently completed post-doctoral research about religious, cultural and national identity amongst Christians and Muslims within the Jordanian context