Gods in the City - Intercultural and Inter-religious Dialogue at Local Level
By H. Skard, J. Palard, J.M. Woerling, J.F. Husson, J. Mahiels, P. Gaudin, F. Burchianti, X. Itçaina, N. Tietze, A. Anwar, C. Chivers, B. Pearce, A. Moniak-Azzopardi
Council of Europe Publishing, 2008, 25 € / 38 USD, 226pp., ISBN 978-92-871-6384-4
Clearly, religious faiths and beliefs are increasingly making their presence felt in the public arena, at all levels. Because religions are more and more often behind the forging and assertion of multiple identities, the authorities have a duty to take the utmost account of them when establishing democratic rules and arrangements for "living together". Local authorities are ideally placed to lead this work, which requires creativity, imagination, a willingness to engage in dialogue and the opening of meeting places. Such an approach needs to go hand-in-hand with an analysis of this new state of affairs. It also calls for the sharing of experience. It is for this reason that the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe has chosen this avenue and launched a debate, in which local political figures and university researchers have been closely involved. The fact that it is sizing up the issues thrown up by intercultural and interfaith dialogue and opting for an approach based on mutual knowledge means that it has chosen from the outset to break new ground. This is the key objective of this European contribution to democratic debate and to action by the authorities in the context of religious pluralism.
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