Some years ago I was traveling through Asia and Africa for a a series of interfaith peace conferences and then as a visiting student at the University of Cape Town. While in Cape Town I had the opportunity to visit the District Six Museum, which chronicles the struggle against Apartheid. The floors and walls were covered with images of struggle, faith, protest, activism… and hope. It was there that I was inspired to use my theological education and professional communications experiences to explore the role of the ‘other’ in our lives, our faiths, our societies and histories… and in our very selves.
“And in the questioning comes the who am I; out of listening comes through you am I.”
This one phrase encapsulates the whole reason for not only this blog entry, but also this entire website. The purpose of my writing is to engage people in thinking about the effect each of us can have on the public sphere and thus each other. As a person of faith – of the Christian faith, in my case – I seek to engage other people of faith to understand that religion has a place in the public sphere, a positive contribution to make in a world rife with injustice… so often done in God’s name.
Please let me be clear: the contribution which I am advocating is NOT one of conservative absolutes or fundamentalist judgement, but of love demonstrated in translating religious motivations into the democratic language of the public sphere, where all people – of every faith and no faith – commit to struggling together for the betterment of humanity through justice for all. To my mind, the role of religion in the public sphere is to contribute to the diverse voices already present in our multicultural and pluralistic societies.
My hope for this site is to bring these voices to light, to refuse the privatization of religion, to dialogue respectfully amongst differences and to do so for the purpose of seeking just relationships with one another.
For, through you am I.