Last month, the Mormon Chapter of the Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy held its inaugural conference, “Mormon Engagement with World Religions: Perspectives and Possibilities with the Abrahamic Traditions.” The conference was held at the University of California from June 11-12 (program here).
I was very pleased to be invited to attend the conference, but unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I found myself unable to attend. I’ve had a long interest in interfaith dialogue and deeply regret not being able to attend and meet the many persons involved in what to me seemed like a singular event. Hopefully, there will be more conferences of this kind in the future.
Fortunately, however, some individuals have shared their notes of the conference. If you know of other write-ups, please let me know.
Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy Conference: Mormon Engagement with the World Religions by John W. Morehead at Morehead’s Musings, June 16, 2010
FID Conference (Day One) by Lynette at Zelophehad’s Daughters, June 17, 2010
FID Conference (Day Two) by Lynette at Zelophehad’s Daughters, July 10, 2010
Interreligious — not Irreligious — Diplomacy by Ralph Hancock at Times & Seasons, June 17, 2010
The Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy (FID) is pleased to announce the formation of its Mormon Chapter, with Utah Valley University professor Brian D. Birch as the chapter director. Birch is director of UVU’s Religious Studies program and is an associate professor of philosophy who specializes in religious pluralism, comparative theology, and the ethical dimensions of interreligious dialogue. He also has strong credentials in Mormon studies, serving as editor of the Society of Mormon Philosophy and Theology’s journal, Element, as well as being on the board of directors for Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and the steering committee of the Mormon Studies Consultation in the American Academy of Religion. He is also currently completing a book, Mormonism and Christian Thought, which is slated for publication by Oxford University Press in 2010.
“Brian Birch knows how to respect those who disagree with him,” says Randall Paul, president of the Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy. “His interest in other religions makes him a great listener. He is a natural interreligious diplomat, a believing Latter-day Saint interested in finding and clarifying truth from all sources.”
Birch adds: “I’m delighted to be part of the Foundation and to contribute to constructive interreligious dialogue. Latter-day Saints have been the object of increasing interest and scrutiny of late. This chapter will create opportunities for candid and engaging discussions and the opportunity for both sides to learn from the other.”
Birch will work to attract religiously bi-lingual members of the Mormon Chapter of FID to develop dialogue programs with particular religious groups that want to engage more deeply with Mormonism.