Dialogue Institute Programs

The Dialogue Institute leads and sustains a movement of interreligious and intercultural dialogue within an academic setting and on a global scale. It draws its energy from intellectual inquiry, critical thinking and open exchange, enjoying its unique position on the urban campus of a secular public university.

The DI works collaboratively with other universities, nonprofits and non-governmental organizations, and the business and public sectors to create an atmosphere of trust and to foster knowledge and mutual understanding in a global context. Based at Temple University in Philadelphia, the work currently focuses in the following areas:

  • Dialogue Training
    The DI offers customized training - in Philadelphia and around the world - in the philosophies and methodologies of interreligious, intercultural, interideological dialogue for religious and community-based groups, students, scholars, professionals, and others. Trainings and workshops of varying lengths afford participants hands-on learning and practice in dialogue, using Leonard Swidler's Dialogue Principles as a basis.
  • Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders on Religious Pluralism
    Since 2010, the DI has hosted more than 240 young adult students from the Middle East and Southeast Asia for the semi-annual Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders on Religious Pluralism in the United States. The five-week program, run in conjunction with and with funding from the U.S. Department of State (Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs), introduces students to dialogue and central elements of U.S. history and democracy through a focus on American religious freedom.
  • Bumuntu Peace Institute
    The Bumuntu Peace Institute, based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was established in the summer of 2010 by DI Founder and President, Leonard Swidler, DI Board member Harry Halloran and Professor Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha as an African extension and functioning under the auspices of the DI.
  • Asia Interreligious Development Network
    The DI, in partnership with Hong Kong Baptist University, launched the Asia Interreligious Development Network (AIDN) in December of 2014. The overall goal of AIDN to build an effective network of academics and practitioners from across Asia who work in the area of interreligious dialogue, in order to develop and share best practices in the field.
  • Middle Eastern Dialogue Symposia
    Since 2008, the DI has been collaborating with the Western Studies Institute in Saudi Arabia to hold ongoing seminars in Philadelphia related to interreligious studies and dialogue.
  • Interreligious Dialogue Study at Temple University
    In partnership with the Temple University Department of Religion, the DI offers graduate courses and opportunity for independent study in the area of Interreligious Dialogue. Graduate student interns and associates from many contexts contribute original research and produce new resources to further interreligious understanding and action. Emphasis on global ethics and interdisciplinary involvement with scholars and practitioners in business, science, medicine, art, and communications enable the Dialogue Institute to train a new generation of scholars in the field. For more information or with questions, contact the Dialogue Institute office.