Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WCC appoints new programme executive for inter-religious dialogue

World Council of Churches - News

WCC APPOINTS NEW PROGRAMME EXECUTIVE FOR INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE AND
COOPERATION

For immediate release: 26 October 2011

When the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Dr
Olav Fykse Tveit attends a day of prayer for peace in Assisi, Italy on 27
October, he will be accompanied by Clare Amos of the Church of England the
new WCC programme executive for inter-religious dialogue and cooperation.

The interfaith meeting in Assisi is called by Pope Benedict XVI a "Day of
reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace and justice in the world".

"The event of Assisi has a great potential for peace. There cannot be peace
in the world without peace among the religions. Efforts of coming together
as religions to work for common concerns are imperative to peace, which is
the message of Assisi," said Amos.

Amos, who joined the WCC this fall, specialized in theology at the
University of Cambridge and Ecole Biblique et Archeologique Francaise in
Jerusalem, after which she spent more than ten years in Jerusalem and
Lebanon where she was deeply involved with interfaith concerns and
theological education.

She has authored several books on biblical studies, interfaith relations and
spirituality.

After being married to Alan Amos, then Anglican chaplain in Beirut, Amos
worked for the Middle East Council of Churches and the Near East School of
Theology in the early eighties. While living in Beirut, her experience of
dialogue was rooted in the difficult years of Lebanese civil war and the
Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

Amos considers engaging churches in the Middle East in dialogue as one of
the priorities in her tasks at the council.

"In the Middle East one cannot ignore the dimensions of other faiths. We
were confronted by the challenges of how to read the New Testament given the
influence of Christianity's relationship with Judaism, while not ignoring
how the Hebrew scriptures were used to justify political actions of the
modern Israeli government, which affected the lives of Christians and
Muslims in the holy land," says Amos.

The WCC programme on Christian self-understanding amid many religions is a
major initiative of inter-religious dialogue, says Amos. She envisions a
special emphasis in this area, which she feels is essential in understanding
our own traditions as Christians.

"Interfaith engagement is also about discovering who we are. This is why the
WCC programme of Christian self-understanding in the context of religious
plurality is important. This is where Christians along with Jews, Muslims,
Hindus and Buddhists rediscover their own identities - an important
motivation for interfaith dialogue."

Amos also hopes to develop inter-religious cooperation in the area of
advocacy for religious freedom, human rights and protection of religious
minorities which have formed a focus of the WCC programmes. At the same
time, she is hoping to work extensively for ecumenical and theological
dialogue.

"I am keen to work towards ecumenical dialogue, which happens among
Christians. The similarities between interfaith and intra-faith dialogue are
complex. I am looking forward to addressing these challenges in my work at
the council."

Read also:

WCC programme for inter-religious dialogue and cooperation
(Link:
http://www.oikoumene.org/index.php?RDCT=fd41b8ac76d3b928ee8e )

WCC explores Christian self-understanding in context of Hindu religion
(Link:
http://www.oikoumene.org/index.php?RDCT=308b798e159451410ac4
)

WCC member churches in the Middle East (Link:
http://www.oikoumene.org/index.php?RDCT=516b5c0bb7d3de54f2c2 )


The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and
service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches
founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox,
Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in
over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.
The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran]
Church of Norway. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

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