Mission/Vision


The Dialogue Institute and the Journal of Ecumenical Studies share a common purpose—to advance intrareligious, interreligious, and intercultural dialogue and engagement around the world, by supporting scholarship, training, and action.

Founded by Leonard Swidler and his late wife, Arlene, in 1964, the Journal of Ecumenical Studies (J.E.S.) remains the premier peer-reviewed journal in intrareligious, interreligious, and interideological dialogue around the world. Published initially as an intra-Christian endeavor, it quickly evolved into an organ of Christian-Jewish dialogue and then further expanded to include all the world’s major religions and ideologies, including atheism.

The Dialogue Institute (DI) emerged in 1978 as the outreach arm of J.E.S., working to put into practice the theory published in the Journal. Expanding on the pioneering interreligious scholarship and activism of its founder, Leonard Swidler, the DI promotes the principle that dialogue flourishes through interpersonal relationships grounded in trust, mutual respect, and a common search for understanding. The DI teaches the skills of critical thinking and deep dialogue that develop the capacity to reconcile differences, such that a healthy civic society can create a quality of life for all citizens in a community, through both political and nonpolitical processes.