The Value of Imbalance in Interreligious Dialogue

How to Cite

David Buchta. (2022). The Value of Imbalance in Interreligious Dialogue: Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 20(2), 229–232. Retrieved from


Balance is often, and rightly, seen as a crucial virtue in interreligious dialogue. Participants coming from different religious traditions hope to meet on neutral ground in a discourse which can thus be clearly distinguished from proselytization or, worse, subjugation. And yet, the very diversity that underscores the value of such dialogue makes absolute balance and symmetry impossible and even undesirable. Although facing many of the same issues in the contemporary world, different religious traditions have developed in varying social and historical circumstances and are characterized by distinct concepts, practices, and emphases in their approach to encountering the divine. These differences make it important for participants in interreligious dialogue to learn about each other. They also entail different sets of strengths. The distinct inheritance of each tradition allows their respective contemporary adherents to learn from each other without the subordination of one tradition to another.

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