Interfaith Dialogue: The Art of Listening
The political climate and discourse during the 2016 presidential campaign was divisive and unwelcoming of refugees, immigrants, Muslims and other religious minorities. This toxic atmosphere was reflected on college and universities campuses throughout the country. At Westfield State University Jewish, Christian and Muslim students were the targets of verbal attacks, prejudice and disrespect. The Muslim students, in particular, were afraid to walk around campus and attend their classes. The Interfaith Chaplains Council along with the Interfaith Advisory Council, comprised of faculty, staff and students met to discuss the current concerns of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim students and collaborated together to create a listening event based on the World Café model. This article addresses listening as a contemplative practice for building just communities and shares the process that went into the creation of “Interfaith Dialogue: The Art of Listening” event as well as participants responses to the event.
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