This introductory chapter briefly sets out the book's purpose: to demonstrate one facet of what might be described as one of the best things of our own time: serious and sustained interreligious dialogue. The chapters in this volume represent the ongoing effort of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California to break new ground in interreligious dialogue. They are actually the fruit of the third interreligious conference organized by the Institute. The chapter then discusses the concept of learned ignorance; preparations for the trialogue held at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem in June of 2007; global events that have advanced serious interreligious dialogue; and new Muslim initiatives for dialogue.
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