When peace and justice call, Paul Knitter packs his bags. Knitter, professor emeritus of theology and internationally known expert on interfaith relations, traveled to West Africa in early February for a weeklong meeting of the Interreligious Council of Liberia, and then jetted off to Thailand for yet another interreligious peace council meeting.
The Liberia conference brought together Muslims and Christians to discuss ways in which the two religions can work together to bring peace to their country, which has been ravaged by 14 years of civil unrest. A lifelong proponent of interreligious dialogue, Knitter made two presentations and participated in numerous discussions. And he came away with a sense of optimism.
“I saw confirmation that religion can be a significant factor in promoting peace,” he says. “What really impressed me was they resolved that their differences are not going to get in the way of working for peace.”
In Thailand, he met with the international Interreligious Peace Council and a group of women from around the world. “The idea was to see how globalization is affecting women and how religion, which has been part of the problem, can be part of the solution,” he says. The conference resulted in a declaration and plans for a series of meetings.
Which means Knitter probably shouldn’t unpack yet