Interreligious Dialogue in a Fragmented World. Some Evidence for Coexistence and Convergence
In today’s fragmented and globalized world, the economy and technology are both in need of an spiritual base. Philosopher Karl Jaspers’ account of the axial age as giving rise to distinct regional religious identities is now giving way to a more local pluralism. Instead of a “clash of civilizations,” a certain existenceoffers the opportunity for both distinct identity and its apparent opposite, integration. The Focolare Movement’s experience of dialogue serves as an example for understanding this phenomenon conceptually through the sociological/anthropological lens of gift, where identity is dependent on the establishment of gratuitous relationships. Religious identity is reinforced precisely through openness to diversity, suggesting a possible ushering in of a new 'axial age' in which religions converge while simultaneously, remaining distinct, and thereby fostering a more integral humanity.