Share and Discover: Interfaith dialogue
The Faiths Act Committee at the University of Toronto held a fantastic year-end event called “Speed Faithing.” The idea of the event stemmed from the desire of our committee members to engage the wider campus community in meaningful interfaith dialogue and provide the opportunity for people to ask questions and share perspectives about various faith and philosophical practices. We were thrilled to see about 50 students representing 7 different faiths gather at the Multi-Faith Centre to take part in these conversations.
Pods of 4 chairs were arranged around the room with a set of questions that participants could use to initiate the interfaith dialogue, or if they had a question of their own they were encouraged to use it! The conversation starter questions the Faiths Act team prepared are as follows:
- What is one word that encompasses your faith/value/philosophical background?
- How does your faith/philosophical background inspire you to act?
- When do you turn to or doubt your faith?
- How do you think others perceive your faith/philosophical background?
- What are the pros and cons of having one religion? Many religions?
- Were you “born” into a religion or did you consciously choose one?
- How important is prayer to you?
- How do you connect with the Divine/God/Higher Power?
- Describe your faith/beliefs without labeling it.
- What is something that you would change about your religion?
Every 10 minutes we rang a bell and participants were told to join a new pod of conversation, keeping the groups as diverse as possible. The conversations were buzzing and the enthusiasm to engage in these conversations was encouraging.
Participants felt intrigued, inspired, challenged and contemplative. The event was an opportunity not only to learn about others, but to learn about ourselves and reflect inwards in order to answer these deep questions with honesty.
We encourage you to reflect on how you would answer these questions and use them in your own inter or intrafaith communications. Remember, these are only conversation starters…the possibilities of where these can lead are endless.
Davina Finn, Faiths Act Fellow