Bettina Bäumer


As in any human relationship, the relationship between religions is also taking place at many levels: There is the merely external physical or social meeting, which can take the form of a neutral coexistence or aggressive confrontation. Then there is the human level of living together which can produce a certain mutual understanding and acceptance. This happens naturally in any pluri-religious society, among neighbours, colleagues at work, or even within the same family as in the case of interreligious marriages. Another type of conscious dialogue takes place on the academic or intellectual level. In fact, most of what is talked and written about 'dialogue', and most of the organized dialogue-meetings belong to this intellectual level. Another kind of dialogue or meeting between Hindus and Christians is at the devotional level, liek sharing of festivals, prayers and rituals. It is often assumed that this is the best and easiest contact between the two religions, because bhakti touches the heart and not only the head level. However, there is an even deeper spritual level on which a Hindu and a Christian can meet.

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