Dialogue Institute Founder and President, Leonard Swidler, and Executive Director, Rebecca Mays, will be in the Philippines, February 29-March 1, 2016, to join the second gathering of the recently formed Asia Interreligious Development Network (AIDN).
In partnership with Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), and with three-year funding provided by the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia, the DI launched AIDN in December of 2014 with an initial meeting in Hong Kong of 13 Asian scholar-activists from eight different countries.
This second gathering will be held at De La Salle University in Manila. AIDN participants from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand will share progress on their individual pilot projects related to interreligious/interfaith dialogue and engagement, and also meet with other United Board-funded scholar-activists who are doing similar projects in the region. Plans will be made to publish a set of "best practices" for teaching and practicing interfaith engagement in colleges and universities in Asia (to be published in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies).
The overall purpose of the AIDN is three-fold:
1) 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;
2) 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
3) To publish an edited volume presenting network members’ interreligious projects – challenges overcome, theoretical questions, lessons learned – that will foster wide-scale replication and innovation in the field.