Joint Meeting with the Council of Christians and Jews
The Challenge of Listening to Others
Tuesday 9th October 2018, Bexhill Islamic Centre, Clifford Road, Bexhill on sea
Rabbi Danny Rich has been the Senior Rabbi and Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism since 2005, he was Rabbi to Kingston Liberal Synagogue for nearly two decades and is a President of the Council of Christians and Jews and a member of the Council of Imams and Rabbis.
His visit to the beautifully re-designed Bexhill Islamic Association’s Community Centre provided an opportunity to explore the importance and challenges of interfaith dialogue drawing upon his rich experience. He was welcomed by the Mayors and Imams of both Bexhill and Hastings and a diverse audience of sixty including Anglican clergy, members of the Hastings and District Interfaith Forum, the Council of Christians and Jews and Bexhill Islamic Association.
Rabbi Rich spoke of the need for shared values as an underpinning for real dialogue:
- A willingness to listen, even if we find ourselves offended
- An acceptance that God does not need us to defend His divine reputation
- Encouragement to ask any question that may challenge or educate
- A guarantee to all that they may lead their life without fear of exclusion and ridicule
- A sense of universal responsibility – no one is ‘other’ if they need physical, emotional, or spiritual nurture
- An acknowledgement that no one possesses a monopoly on truth
- Freedom of belief, alongside an understanding that one may not impose one’s views on others
- Encouragement of a multiplicity of religious practices
- Cultivation of the authority of the prayerful and educated conscience
- Agreement that the state should play no part in imposing or restricting religious belief and practice other than to secure the previous nine values.
Our local Council of Christians and Jews and the Interfaith Forum wish to express special thanks to Bexhill Islamic Association for their warm hospitality.