Relationship between religion and politics have become more problematic
Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser, Former General Secretary of the WCC discussed his book Religion, Power, Politics. Raiser is a theologian from Germany and author of many works in the area of political ethics and public theology, including For a Culture of Life: Transforming Globalization and Violence at the 10th Assembly of WCC in Busan, Republic of Korea. His book Religion, Power, Politics was published in 2013 by WCC Publications, which is hosting a series of book events at the WCC assembly.
Konrad Raiser said that the relationship between religion and politics have become more problematic and conflicted, both locally and globally. He raised the crucial question of power and the possibility of a new role for religions. In conversation with assembly participants, Konrad Raiser addressed the major themes in his book, including: the role of religion and politics in conflict; the debate about religion in the public sphere; religion and politics in Islam. Stephen Brown, who translated the book from German to English, facilitated the conversation and book signing.
Speaking on a question of inter-religious dialogue, Konrad Raiser said that inter-religious dialogue is one of the key issues and challenges for ecumenism in the 21st century. He added that it must become one of the central tasks of the ecumenical world.
Konrad Raiser also referred to the work begun by the WCC in this area with the publication of the landmark document Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World in June 2011. The WCC co-produced this guide together with the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue of the Roman Catholic Church and the World Evangelical Alliance following five years of joint work. Speaking further on the dialogue between Christianity and Islam, Raiser said that Christians ought to provide “accompaniment, support and encourage debate in the Muslim world rather than stigmatize with the catchword of ‘fundamentalism’ ”.
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