Religion: Rules for a Dialogue

As far as anyone could remember, it had never happened before: the same article was published simultaneously in the Protestant weekly Christian Century and the Roman Catholic weekly Commonweal. Appropriately, the article concerned better interfaith understanding. To further that cause, Presbyterian Dr. Robert McAfee Brown, professor of systematic theology at Manhattan's nondenominational Union Theological Seminary, undertook to set up "half a dozen ground rules" for conducting the growing "dialogue" between Catholics and Protestants.

Rule No. 1: Each partner must believe that the other is speaking in good faith. This, Theologian Brown points out,...

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