Liberative Dialogue

Title: Liberative Dialogue: a Comparative Analysis of the Proposals of Paul Knitter and Farid Esack for a Liberative Dialogue of Religions and Their Contribution to Muslim – Christian Relations in Indonesia 

Author: Lidya Kambo Tandirerung (CRCS, 2004)

Keywords: liberative praxis, liberating hermeneutics, inter-religious solidarity, and potential laboratory

Abstract:

 

The existence of those considered as poor, non-persons, marginalized and “victims of the world” has triggered the emergence of liberation theologies, which occupy a wide space within the discourses of liberative praxis of religions. An important example is the theology of liberation from Latin America, that was developed based on the existence of those dominated people, exploited social classes, despised races and marginalized cultures which are included in the very word of “poverty”.

 

Also, liberation became a keyword for gratifying the rights and dignity of the human being. It voices that there is no single circumstance possible that respects human dignity except of being liberated from any sort of oppressive power. The struggle for liberation has been flowing significantly from century to century during human civilization. Much of the suffering inflicted on the poor and marginalized is committed in the name of religions. Christians and Muslims, in particular, are two of those world religions’ communities which consider liberation as a religious call based on the scriptural messages. Unfortunately, religious people fall sometimes into an exclusive understanding of the struggles they perform as for the sake of particular religious agenda or mission.

 

Generally, the aim of this research is to recognize the development of liberative dialogue in Indonesia, although this term has not yet been utilized often in the ongoing discourses. By selecting Paul F. Knitter and Farid Esak, two prominent scholars who gives great concerns on dialogue and liberation, we are not abandoning the emergence and discussion of Indonesian scholars concerning dialogue. Indeed, this is intended to focus on how the proposal of Knitter and Esack, their basic concept of dialogue based on the “praxis of liberation”, might contribute to the dynamic of liberative struggle in Indonesia.

 

Hence, there are two expected major contributions of this research. The first is the theoretical contribution which explains the content of the theological thought of Paul F. Knitter and Farid Esack on “liberative dialogue of religions“ and its particular dynamic of development. The second is the contextual-practical contribution of such a liberative approach to the Muslim-Christian relation in Indonesia, with particular elaboration to their social responsibility as religious communities struggling against many faces of injustice.

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