Josh Dubois gets it right on interfaith cooperation

At a recent international gathering, Josh Dubois spoke about the power of multi-faith collaboration for the common good.

But first, I would like to reflect just a bit on the imperative before us – the reasons why it is more important now than ever for religious and moral actors to collaborate on the great social challenges of our time.
And I actually do not wish to extol the positive virtues of interfaith cooperation. So many of us already know that when we embark upon an interfaith encounter – whether being invited to experience a Passover Seder that connects us with the stranger, the oppressed and with redemption; breaking bread with our Muslim brothers and sisters at an Iftar as we appreciate the strength of community and the holiness of the month of Ramadan; or sharing an Easter dinner between Christian friends as we reflect upon Christ’s sacrifice – in those moments we develop expanded compassion, deeper empathy, even a greater notion of the divine. There is little argument about this, this basic idea that, as Pope John Paul II so eloquently stated, “By dialogue, we let God be present in our midst, for as we open ourselves to one another, we open ourselves to God.”
So the positive benefits of interfaith cooperation are known, and they should motivate us to interfaith action.
But it is another motivation for interfaith service that I would like to focus on, another reason why we must join across religious lines to tackle our common challenges together. This motivation may be a bit darker, more difficult than the positive desire for compassion and understanding. But, when properly mined, this motivation might provide the energy we need to build the ‘bridges of hope’ upon which this conference is premised.
The motivation I would like to reflect upon is that of pain and suffering. And I would like to explore with you how the presence and memory of pain might spur us towards ever greater interfaith action.

You can read his speech here …