An Analysis of Interreligious Practice: Context, Conditions, Strategies and Consequences on the Basis of Biographical Narratives Gathered at a Centre for Christian-Muslim Dialogue in Germany

Mirjam Eva Stricker


Interreligious dialogue in general, and dialogue between Christians and Muslims in Germany in particular, can contribute significantly to peaceful coexistence. At the same time, interreligious dialogue is potentially prone to interreligious conflict, a fact that can in part be explained by the inherent nature of religion. Potential interreligious conflict has become socially highly relevant—and so has the question of how to deal with it and how to prevent it in specific encounters between members of different religions. As a consequence, these issues are of particular interest to researchers. The objective of this qualitative study is to gain insight into and to analyze the everyday practice of interreligious dialogue. The research question, which was deliberately kept broad at the outset, aims at identifying the characteristics of interreligious communication on a personal level. This includes the questions how participants experience interreligious encounters, how they behave and act, and what personal beliefs influence their actions. The procedure of analysis and interpretation was derived from relational hermeneutics. In addition, the coding paradigm and the coding principles of grounded theory methodology were used for the analysis. The results can be seen as an attempt to illustrate the main characteristics of interreligious encounters. Since all of the discovered categories show references to the field of "learning", the phenomena observed in this study can be characterized as interreligious learning. The findings strongly suggest that the competences needed for interreligious dialogue can be acquired through actually engaging in interreligious encounters.



cultural psychology; interreligious dialogue; interreligious encounters; Christian-Muslim dialogue; religion and conflict; interreligious learning; religious studies; relational hermeneutics; grounded theory methodology; single case studies


Copyright (c) 2016 Mirjam Eva Stricker (geb. Gruhler)

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