Ecumenical, Interreligious, Global Context

Photo by Greg RustThe Decrees of General Congregation Thirty-Four of the Society of Jesus stress the importance of theological dialogue from an ecumenical, interreligious, global context. Decree Five encourages all Jesuits to move beyond prejudice and bias, be it historical, cultural, social, or theological, in order to cooperate wholeheartedly with all men and women of goodwill in promoting peace, justice, harmony, human rights, and respect for all of God's creation. This is to be done especially through dialogue with those who are inspired by religious commitment, or who share a sense of transcendence that opens them to universal values.

Pope John Paul II repeatedly urged the Jesuits to make interreligious dialogue an apostolic priority for the third millennium. In a world characterized by religious pluralism, a positive relationship with faithful persons from all the world religions is a requirement in order to achieve global peace and the goal of full dignity and justice for all human beings.

Similarly, Decree Twelve of the General Congregation Thirty-Four recognizes that the signs of the times give stark proof of the fact that a faith doing justice must necessarily lead to ecumenical and interreligious dialogue and cooperation. In many parts of the world, it is precisely religious divisions that are a force contributing to injustice, violence, and even warfare. In situations of conflict, often fueled by historic confessional hostilities, ecumenism calls us to pardon and to love as essential components of a Gospel-inspired struggle for justice and reconciliation.

Members of the department of theology at Xavier University embrace the Jesuit vision for theology in an ecumenical, interreligious, global context and seek to exemplify this broadly compassionate perspective in the classroom and in their scholarly pursuits. This commitment to global, interreligious dialogue is reflected in the department of theology's close affiliation with the Edward B. Brueggeman Center for Dialogue.