Dr. Turan Kayaoglu – Explaining Interfaith Dialogue
Dr. Turan Kayaoglu, Associate Professor of International Relations in the Politics, Philosophy and Economics Program at UW-T, became a member of the Associated Ministries’ Board of Directors this past June. He is passionate about interfaith dialogue.
“There is no magic bullet in combating religious and cultural intolerance and hatred. However, dialogue is an essential proactive measure to this end. It is compatible with universal human rights as it is based on freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of association.
The face-to-face dialogue model is useful, but it is a limited and flawed means to utilize in moving towards coexistence and tolerance. If we are serious about using dialogue to combat religious hatred and violence, such dialogue should focus on grassroots mobilisation for collaborative experiences in the service of solving shared problems in education, employment, health, and the environment. This type of project-focused intercultural and interfaith exchange will stimulate genuine engagement, without the concerns of manipulation or dissimulation.
Designers of these activities and projects should pay special attention to the inclusion of women, youth, and people from diverse backgrounds, regardless of their faith. Only after the experience of working together for a common cause will people from different religious and cultural backgrounds have the self-empowerment and necessary appreciation of each other to counter religious hatred and violence in their communities.” (Except from Dialogue 2.0: A Call for Interfaith Service and Activism)