Public Engagement

Public Engagement

CIRD logo

Promoting the Role of Interreligious Dialogue

The Centre for Interreligious Dialogue (CIRD) aims to develop and contribute to the study and practice of interreligious dialogue in Ireland, as well as making a contribution to the global fields of interreligious dialogue and interreligious studies. The Centre fulfils these goals by organising public lectures, study days, workshops, seminars and dialogue groups, while also fostering world class research that brings added value to the university and the community. Such close collaboration between academic research and practice is essential for the life of any academic or civic community. It allows for a process of much needed partnership between academic staff and the greater public, testing and applying research and publication with on-the-ground realities. CIRD is committed to promoting and contributing to the role of interfaith dialogue in contemporary society and in the public sector, especially within schools, the media, government, and local and transnational corporations. Current research also aims to attract collaborative research projects, doctoral students and post-doctoral scholars, and to co-produce research with other scholars, especially, though not limited to, the Abrahamic faiths, the religious-secular dialogue, and the role of religion as a peacebuilder amidst conflicts.

Encouraging Interreligious Learning and Cooperation

prayer on matThe relevance of CIRD to the public cannot be overestimated, considering the current dramatic developments in Europe and all over the world in relation to Islamaphobia, anti-Semitism, and the growing divide between some religious and secular groups. But CIRD is not party to any clash of civilizations hypothesis and views mutual understanding between religious and philosophical frameworks under the rubrics of universal human rights and the global ethic. At their best, religious and humanist traditions are sources of peace, healing and hope for billions of people, though promoting these ideas and ideals can be difficult in a context where violence often gets the front page.  Therefore, CIRD is aiming to contribute to such discussions and to help formulate interfaith learning and cooperation. By working in collaboration with public organisations throughout Ireland, as well as with religious, humanist, and philosophical partner organisations, we provide knowledgeable and safe contexts for interfaith encounters as well as the study of and academic engagement with interfaith dialogue.

An Academic Platform For Dialogue and Education

A key to this endeavour is to serve as an academic platform for dialogue and education. Such involvement offers public interfaith opportunities of collaboration and creative input by drawing on CIRD staff, fellow academics, and community expertise, both as theoretical analysis and practical implementation. CIRD connects people of different faiths and philosophies within our localised Dublin context and within regional, European and global settings.

The process of interfaith listening and interacting is developed in the practices of interfaith/interreligious dialogue. Such dialogues serve as a blueprint for interaction between academia and the general public. How to establish and develop such spaces for dialogue is crucial, and here staff expertise and knowledge can play an important role as a catalyst in facilitating and sharpening interfaith encounters and partnership. Thus, CIRD aims to offer academic and practical insights on the study, role, value, teaching and practice of interfaith dialogue and interfaith encounters.

Interreligious Dialogue in the Media and in Public Policy

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The Centre offers engaged teaching to the public through lectures, as well as formal and informal gatherings, seeking to support lifelong learning and community. Through its publications, advocacy, website, public events, and grassroots work, CIRD aims to contribute to regional and national policy development in promoting Ireland’s growing religious and ethnic diversity. CIRD celebrates the deep moral ties between people of all faiths along with humanists striving for a more just world. We welcome you to join us in these noble aims. In particular, CIRD aims to facilitate discussions in schools, businesses, and higher education contexts about the aims, needs and value of interreligious dialogue. In doing so, CIRD contributes to the interfaith setting and ethos of educational and business communities through encouraging its members to be more sensitive and knowledgeable about interfaith practice, learning and study. Public events, sponsored by CIRD, further develop this process, and the CIRD continues to be a valuable source of information and advice on interfaith dialogue and interfaith learning.