Asia Interreligious Development Network
The Dialogue Institute, in partnership with Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) and with initial three-year funding provided by the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia, launched the Asia Interreligious Development Network in December of 2014.
An organizing gathering held in Hong Kong included 13 Asian scholar-activists from nine different countries (including China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan), with facilitation provided by DI Founder and President, Leonard Swidler, and staff from HKBU. A second gathering was held February 29-March 1, 2016 at De La Salle University in Manila, the Philippines, and was led by Professor Swidler and DI Executive Director (now Director of Education) Rebecca Mays.
The overall and initial purpose of AIDN is three-fold:
- To build an effective network of academics and practitioners across Asia (East, Southeast and South Asia) who work in the area of interreligious dialogue, in order to develop and share best practices in the field;
- To develop curricula for interdisciplinary General Education courses and modules, adapted to the needs of each particular country context, through which the values and skills of interreligious engagement can be taught to undergraduate students and others; and;
- To publish an edited volume in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies presenting network members’ interreligious projects – challenges overcome, theoretical questions, lessons learned – that will foster wide-scale replication and innovation in the field.