Islām and Religious Plurality in South-East Asia. The Case of Muslim and Christian Dialogue in the Philippines


Islām and Religious Plurality in South-East Asia. The Case of Muslim and Christian Dialogue in the Philippines
(in Annali di Scienze ReligioseVolume 13/2020)

di Paolo Nicelli

Following the historical accounts of Mindanao armed conflict and peace process in the Philippines, the author focuses on the reasons that brought about the difficult proceeding of Muslim and Christian relations towards a sustainable peace, which may respect, as much as possible, all the needs of both Muslim and Christian communities. The author considers the real cultural contest of the Philippines, which is made by three Peoples: Lumads, Muslims and Christians, and not only by two Peoples: Muslims and Christians. According to him, any peace process must focus on the complete anthropological and cultural context of the Country. A sustainable peace may be reached only through a harmonious approach, which interrelate whether political, social, as well as religious aspects, looking at the dignity of the human being. All these aspects are so fundamental, that cannot be forgotten in any educational program whether academic and political. Along this way, the author proposes and describes a possible model, which is focusing on Interreligious and intercultural dialogue between Lumads, Muslims and Christians, belonging to the Silsilah Dialogue Movement, located in Zamboanga City, (Mindanao Island). The author concludes his article underlining the discovery of a spiritual journey, which is the result of the personal spiritual dialogue as the pro-active attitude towards the acknowledgment of the truth about God, the self as well as the common good for all. Along this way, our own cultural and religious identity cannot be menaced by the diversity of different cultural and religious identities, since the pro-active attitude is able to prevent internal personal conflicts as well as the conflicts that different human groups may express within society. The religious experience of God is not a mere attribute beside our lives; it is the fundamental pillar on which to build reciprocal peace relations for the common good of all.

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