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Interreligious dialogue: PCID, First International Buddhist-Christian Dialogue for Nuns “a landmark to foster mutual understanding”

“The First International Buddhist-Christian Dialogue for Nuns was a landmark to foster mutual understanding and friendship among us as religious women so that we may be able to build bridges connecting our different spiritual paths”. This is the first in a series of points made in the final statement of the meeting organised at Fo Guang Shan (Kaohsiung, Taiwan) by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID), in collaboration with Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery, the Association of the Major Superiors of Religious Women in Taiwan and Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (DIM·MID). For four days (14-18 October), about seventy Buddhist and Christian nuns exchanged views on the theme of “Contemplative Action and Active Contemplation: Buddhist and Christian Nuns in Dialogue”. The conclusions are presented in the official statement released today. “We recognise that while remaining steadfast in our respective deepest convictions, we can learn from one another how to enrich ourselves spiritually, culturally and socially, and thereby become humble and credible witnesses for our brothers and sisters”, the participants wrote. “We believe that our witness to a way of life that can be meaningful and joyful through detachment from consumerism, materialism, and individualism may encourage others to walk on the path of goodness”. And again: “We stress the importance of being contemplatives in the midst of action” so as to “show tenderness to those who are in need and bring hope and healing to their lives”. The nuns also insisted on interreligious dialogue, encouraging “more and more religious women to contribute their ‘feminine genius’ to the realization of new and creative ways of interreligious dialogue”. “Love – they also wrote – is our common language”: “it invites us to go beyond ourselves and embrace the ‘other’ in spite of the differences between us”.

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