Organized by the team for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation at the World Council of Churches (WCC), working in partnership with the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Christianity Worldwide (CCCW), the event offered an overview of Christian study centres, seminaries and other church institutions that offer fields of study in other religions.
Participants in the webinar worked to develop networks, cooperation, reciprocal learning, and sharing of resources among those teaching the study of the world’s different major religious traditions, especially in light of widespread new experience with online technologies. They also explored together existing and potential sources of funding to enable more Christians to engage in higher level study of other religions.
The importance of engaging with indigenous religious traditions was also emphasized.
Reflecting on the webinar, Rev. Dr David Marshall, programme executive in Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation at the WCC, commented: “This meeting, in which we were excited to be working together with CCCW, was a very encouraging illustration of the capacity of the WCC to convene specialists from member churches around the world to engage in consultations much needed for the work of the churches in the interreligious field. Our conversations were lively and far-reaching, leaving us with many promising proposals to follow up.”
Rev. Dr Muthuraj Swamy, director of the CCCW, added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the WCC on this initiative in encouraging Christians to study other religions. The webinar has shown the huge enthusiasm for a Christian vocation in studying other religions, and it has highlighted the various opportunities and resources available to do this. For CCCW, the study of world Christianity is integrally connected with studying other religions, as Christianity exists and grows only as it engages and relates with other religions, traditions and cultures. We are very encouraged by the responses.”