Hermeneutical Openness: Crossing Boarders for the Sake of the Disadvantaged Other in Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue Today

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

The world’s so-called major religions disclose the common core of our humanity by consistently highlighting their wholehearted commitment to a compassionate loving and caring response ‘to liberating people from suffering into joyous living’. The present paper explores the context and grammar of a new paradigm to interfaith/interreligious dialogue that honors this primordial religious insight into humanness, specifically considers the prominence of maintaining an open heart to otherness and all disadvantaged others. It is ascertained here that any heart-opening or genuine embrace of the disadvantaged other (whether refugee, widow, orphan, child, poor, destitute, or impoverished), equivocates to spontaneous enlightened action that bears liberating power for the sake of suffering humanity. It is the contention of the present study that the human being is constitutive of faith; thus, the heart-acceptance of the total other as other essentially translates to the activation of faith, purely and simply involves faith as unconditional opening—a well-rounded oeuvre toward interpreting the other. Firstly, the paper discusses present global circumstances addressing just a couple of the ills that plaque our era, offshoots of the effects of globalization: the rise of the global poor, 80% of planetary population subsist at poverty or below poverty level; and the rise of refugees, 60 million refugees barely manage to survive in tentative camps worldwide. Secondly, the paper makes a call for a new oeuvre of interfaith relations dialogue and action, an opening that will unite both east and west. It involves a collective call to establish an opening of the interfaith movement to dialogue with all disadvantaged others, with the aim to address their real needs anguish and concerns. For only a stance of unconditional openness toward the helpless other will prevail, a stance that attempts to ‘cross over’ to the world-circumstances, faith and way of life, of all disadvantaged others. This way, an unprecedented hermeneutical commitment to openness will re-establish interfaith relations as the attempt to overcome linguistic, social, cultural, national, political, legal, rational and religious borders and boundaries for the sake of caring for the disadvantaged other qua otherness. Caring for the disadvantaged other presupposes the extension of welcome, is, a gesture of acceptance of the gift of the other as different (a differ-end): an opening to the total human (homo humanus: the principio universalis par excellence), to that dynamic principle of human faith that genuinely coheres with otherness and the other. Indeed, faith in the disadvantaged other is what founds faith in humanity infusing posterity with love and hope. Given global circumstances, a new historic oeuvre of the interfaith movement grounded in the acceptance and embrace of the total human (an opening of openness) is necessary, and constitutive of the phenomenon of religion, is, ipso facto foundational to religious experience, effectuates the moral core of the world’s religions welcoming the gift of humanity as faith in the disadvantaged other.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusUnpublished - 2016
EventThe 15th International Conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas (ISSEI), on the topic What’s New in the New Europe? Redefining Culture, Politics, Identity - The University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
Duration: 11 Jul 201615 Jul 2016
Conference number: 15
http://www.issei2016.com/home.html

Conference

ConferenceThe 15th International Conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas (ISSEI), on the topic What’s New in the New Europe? Redefining Culture, Politics, Identity
Abbreviated titleWhat’s New in the New Europe? Redefining Culture, Politics, Identity
CountryPoland
CityLodz
Period11/07/1615/07/16
Internet address

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    Michaelides, P. E. (2016). Hermeneutical Openness: Crossing Boarders for the Sake of the Disadvantaged Other in Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue Today. Paper presented at The 15th International Conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas (ISSEI), on the topic What’s New in the New Europe? Redefining Culture, Politics, Identity, Lodz, Poland.