world council of churches

Issue 35, July 2000

There are two themes particularly present in this issue of Current Dialogue: women and religious education and instruction. A multifaith meeting at the Evangelical Academy Mülheim, outside of Düsseldorf, Germany, November 6-10 1999, brought women and education together. Women from different religions and in different ways engaged as educators came together for a common reflection on religious education and instruction in a religiously plural world. We devote most of the content of Current Dialogue to the stories from this meeting and have asked one of the participants, Dr. Anne Davison, to be the editor of the material from Mülheim. Anne Davison is well acquainted with the WCC work in Christian Education and is also the Vice Moderator of the WCC Dialogue Advisory Group.

The issue Christian education is also addressed in two other articles, one written by Anne Davison on the effort to create a curriculum addressing education in religiously plural societies, another one, written by WCC colleague, Ms. Teny Pirri-Simonian, on similar aspects of education work in the WCC. In September of this year, WCC staff working on education and interreligious relations will organise a multifaith consultation "The Value and Concepts of Learning in Religion", to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, 11-15 October 2000.

This issue of Current Dialogue contains also the message from the recently held multifaith forum, "Global Network of Religions for Children" in Tokyo, May 16-18, 2000. One of the newer Japanese religions, Myochikai, launched through the Arigatou Foundation this forum to establish regional networks of religious organisations, institutions, institutes and individuals dedicated to the rights, dignity and well being of children. The WCC has co-operated with the Arigatou Foundation towards the establishment of the Forum and will continue to participate in the global network on children’s issues.

The last months have brought us closer to Fiji, where an ethnic conflict between indigenous Fijians and Indo-Fijians has re-emerged. The Office on Interreligious Relations organised in 1994 an interreligious team visit to Fiji to strengthen the interreligious work of Interfaith Search (see Current Dialogue no.27/1994 ). In this issue of Current Dialogue we publish a report by Ms. Tessa Mackenzie, Secretary of Interfaith Search and member of the Advisory Group on Interreligious Relations of the World Council of Churches. The report was presented at the Dialogue Advisory Group meeting, held in Cairo in April this year and gives something of the background to the events taking place in May.

The General Secretary of the WCC, Dr. Konrad Raiser, will be one among religious and spiritual leaders at the forthcoming Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, opening at the United Nations, August 28 through August 31, 2000. The World Peace Summit is being convened to co-ordinate religious and spiritual leadership as an interfaith ally to the United Nations in its quest for peace, global understanding and international co-operation. The Summit's outcome -- a signed Declaration for World Peace will be offered as a resource for the United Nations in its conflict prevention and resolution efforts. Read more about the summit on: The World Exposition EXPO 2000 which takes place in Hanover June through October will set aside one day as a "Day of the World Religions" (12 September 2000). This day will focus on the contribution of faith communities to the motto of the EXPO 2000: "Humankind -- Nature -- Technology". The following topics will be particularly addressed: "Religions and their Promotion of Human Dignity", "Religions in the Face of Poverty -- A Challenge for the Present" and "Religion and Peace -- Building Bridges between Peoples".
Hans Ucko, Editor

Inside this issue of Current Dialogue . . .

Multifaith Consultation on Religious Education and Instruction, November 1999, Mülheim, Germany ... The situation in the South Pacific islands by Tessa MacKenzie

Relgious Groups Cooperating for Children

Book reviews

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