“Re-approaching Inter-religious Engagement in Israel/Palestine: Moving Beyond Questions of Religious Identity and Experience,” by Peter Dziedzic

issue 11 dziedzic 1While the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a religious conflict, the presence and influence of religious communities cannot be ignored. Inter-religious engagement among various faith communities is necessary in the region, and various organizations have been committed to this work for years. Yet, has it been enough? In this paper, I argue that many inter-religious engagement initiatives have dangerously segmented questions of religious identity and experience from other modes of experience such as the political, the social, and the economic. While this segmenting is perceived as necessary to bring deeply-wounded and alienated communities to dialogue encounters, such encounters are not honoring the full experiences of participants. In order to more effectively engage religious communities in the process of peacebuilding and reconciliation in Israel/Palestine, inter-religious organizations must pursue more holistic conversations and encounters that re-integrate the religious, social, and political experiences of both Israelis and Palestinians.

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