Interreligious Studies and Mission
The IAMS study group on Interreligious Studies and Mission was started at the IAMS Assembly in Toronto 2012. It was agreed that the group will formulate its goals and objectives and expand while drawing scholars, missiologists, theologians and practitioners working in the field of interreligious studies and interreligious relations and its relevance to theology and mission.
The study group aims to foster research and study of Christianity in relation to other religious traditions, their practitioners, and their expressions in different cultural contexts. Both theological and religious studies are welcome. The topics may include theology of religions, historical and contemporary relations between religious traditions, comparative theology, comparative religion, interreligious dialogue, and interreligious pastoral practices. As an academic field, interfaith studies would examine the multiple dimensions of how individuals and groups interact with one another, along with the implications of these interactions for communities, civil society, and global politics.
One of the aims of the study group is to build bridges between Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other religious traditions by providing the next generation of leaders with a comprehensive understanding of interfaith issues. Interreligious studies also investigate the relations between various religions and worldviews, the tension between conflict and dialogue, and processes of religious transformation in pluralistic societies.
The study group aims also to create a space for critical interdisciplinary engagement between studies on interfaith and interreligious issues, examining the many modes of response to the reality of religious plurality: theological, philosophical, historical, scriptural, ethical, institutional and lived realities.
Scope of study
The Interreligious Studies and Mission group invites researchers and practitioners to reflect on the following topics and themes:
– Historical models of inter-faith/religious engagement;
– Mapping the discourse of interreligious studies while critically examining the use of terms such as interfaith, interreligious, multifaith;
– Religious plurality and theologies of religions;
– Studies of religious ritual;
– Authority, tradition, experience: ecumenics as intercultural theology;
– World Christianity and interreligious dialogue;
– Religions and ethics in a pluralist world;
– Comparative/Interreligious ethics;
– Interpreting ecumenical ecclesiology;
– Engaging religious fundamentalism;
– Islam and Muslim-Christian relations;
– Judaism and Jewish-Christian relations;
– Christianity in the Hindu-Buddhist-Sikh-Jain contexts;
– Christianity in the contexts of Islam;
– Christianity in indigenous peoples’ contexts
– Cross-cultural ministry and Interreligious encounter;
Projects and research venues
The IAMS Interreligious Studies and Mission study group aims to organise and carry out different platforms of research and study, such as conferences, seminars, dialoguing groups, research projects, publications (both on paper and online), and other types of research initiatives.
The Interreligious studies’ group convener is Dr David Emmanuel Singh, MPhil Stage Leader, Research Tutor in Islamic Studies at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, UK, and Editor of Transformation journal, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and co-chair of the group is Mika Vähäkangas, Professor in mission studies and ecumenics at Lund University, email: email@example.com.