Buddhist-Christian Dialogue

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Excerpts from a Statement of Participants of a Consultation on Anglican-Lutheran-Buddhist Relations

We the participants of the consultation on Anglican-Lutheran-Buddhist Relations met from the 16th to 20th January 2017 in Yangon, Myanmar focusing on the theme “Voices of Hope in a New Era.”

The consultation was attended by Christians from the Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Roman Catholic traditions, and Buddhists from the Theravada and Mahayana traditions. The participants acknowledge with gratitude the gracious and generous hospitality received from the local hosts, the Church of the Province of Myanmar. Their example set the tone for the spirit of honesty and respect that characterized our time together.

We recognize that this consultation built on relationships already established between Christians and Buddhists in Myanmar and elsewhere. Building relationships is a long process involving hard work and often subject to setbacks and disappointments.

We share the common conviction that lack of knowledge of each other and resultant lack of understanding is, not only unhelpful, but also actively harmful in any type of human relationship, including between Buddhists and Christians.

We recognize that the Christians in the West have much to learn from the experience, theology, and teaching of Christians in Asia, especially given the increased Buddhist influence and presence in the West.

We recognize that interreligious dialogue can enrich, challenge and energize our faith through the questions and experiences shared when Buddhists and Christians encounter one another. We also recognize the importance of not imposing negative interpretations of each other’s beliefs.

Our conversations helped us recognize how inter-religious questions could be a means to foster intra-Christian and intra-Buddhist unity.

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