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Tue Apr 26, 2016, 03:56 PM


Lebanese interfaith group grounds work in 'spiritual solidarity' with the other

Claire Schaeffer-Duffy | Apr. 25, 2016

It is a common paradox that one can find remarkable examples of interfaith cooperation within the most sectarian, conflict-ridden corners of the world. Such is the case with Adyan, a Lebanese foundation promoting interreligious engagement in a region where religious identities are often a source of division. Established in 2008, Adyan’s educational efforts include courses in cross-cultural studies, curriculum development in co-existence, media training, and annually hosting a national day of interfaith prayer.

Adyan’s concept of “spiritual solidarity” undergirds all these efforts. Adyan co-founders Fr. Fadi Daou, a Catholic priest and theology professor, and Nayla Tabbara, a Muslim professor of science of religions and Islamic studies, explain. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Tabbara: The expression itself is not an invention of Adyan. It is taken from the 1994 pastoral letter of the patriarchs of the Orient, “Called Together in Front of God.” The document’s definition of spiritual solidarity is “including the other in my prayer.”

From the beginning, we considered spiritual solidarity as the outcome of dialogue. Dialogue should not stop at dialogue, but should go beyond into spiritual solidarity. The more we move, the more we go forward, the more we discover the meanings of what spiritual solidarity is, as we are living it and experiencing it.


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