Liz Price" />
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Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Faith Dialogue Dinners open eyes

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about The Amazing Faiths Project and its wonderful Dinner Dialogues. Thursday, I sat down at a dinner table with three Muslims, two Christians, two Jews, a Hindu and a person of the Unitarian faith for one of these dialogues to discuss our faiths in an organized and friendly structure.

To avoid conflicts, a moderator followed a rigorous schedule. People answered questions about their faiths and were encouraged to openly express their feelings.

Participants were not allowed to interrupt or criticize each other. It was an exercise in listening as well as expressing.

The hosts and moderators were welcoming, but it was the open attitudes of my fellow dinner guests that led to one of the most enlightening evenings of my life.

As individuals of different faiths, we each entered the experience with different expectations. It takes a fair amount of open-mindedness to sign up for an event like this, and even after signing up, it can still be difficult for some to branch out of their comfort zones so drastically.

Listening to others discuss their innermost thoughts, convictions, beliefs and struggles within their faiths was a unique experience. While I feel confident in my own religion, I had never been put in a situation where I listened to others discuss their different faiths.

The Amazing Faiths Project presents an opportunity to focus on the commonalities between those with different religions, allowing participants to examine alternative beliefs with a new respect and understanding.

Even now, in the 21st century, we live in a world where differences in race and religion lead to wars and hate crimes. We’ve come so far in many ways, but while we like to think we live in a modern world with modern viewpoints, we still have much further to go.

For hundreds of years, Muslims and Jews have fought each other, yet I sat across from two of them as they discussed similar experiences with their faiths. Christians and Jews have split because of huge differences in their beliefs, but I was able to experience both sides talk with peaceful fervor about their faiths.

One of the most amazing parts of the evening was my encounter with a young Muslim man named Reza. Reza is an Iranian student who visited the U.S. for a short time and was able to attend the dialogue.

Watching Reza, who grew up in a censored environment, sit down with people of different races and cultures and be allowed to discuss his and others’ faiths was a great experience.

The event made me feel grateful to live in a society where I can believe whatever I want and explore other cultures.

Liz Price is a communication junior and may be reach at [email protected]

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