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Rethinking Religion and World Affairs$
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Timothy Samuel Shah, Alfred Stepan, and Monica Duffy Toft

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199827978

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827978.001.0001

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Interreligious Dialogue and International Relations

Interreligious Dialogue and International Relations

(p.204) 13 } Interreligious Dialogue and International Relations
Rethinking Religion and World Affairs

Thomas Banchoff

Oxford University Press

In September 2006 a retired German professor was invited back to Regensburg University to address his former colleagues. His presentation, entitled “Faith, Reason, and the University: Memories and Reflections,” explored the relationship between religion and philosophy in an extended academic manner. His erudition, interspersed with reminiscences, delighted his audience. But his words reverberated far beyond the lecture hall. The retired professor was Pope Benedict XVI, and his lecture included unflattering references to the Prophet Mohammed and Islam. Condemnations and protests erupted within the Muslim world. Benedict's Regensburg address and its aftermath pose the question of how interreligious dialogue relates to international relations. This chapter explores both the impact of interreligious dialogue on international relations, and vice-versa. It then returns to the Regensburg controversy as an illustration of both.

Keywords:   religion, interreligious dialogue, international relations, Christians, Muslims, Pope Benedict XVI

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