Inter-religious dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region

A multi-stakeholder approach

Authored by: Eleonora Insalaco

Routledge Handbook of EU–Middle East Relations

Print publication date:  December  2021
Online publication date:  December  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367330767
eBook ISBN: 9780429317873
Adobe ISBN:


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The focus of this chapter is on the state and potential of interreligious dialogue within the Euro-Mediterranean region. In 1995, the governments of the region considered that new opportunities were present for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and that the creation of a stable structure for dialogue in the political, economic, social and cultural fields would facilitate the peace process, as well as enhance economic prosperity and social exchanges for the people of all the countries concerned. After 2001 and the terrorist attacks of 11 September, the focus of the debate within the region started to evolve around the religious and cultural identities of the societies involved and the potential for them to live together peacefully and to collaborate. The chapter presents an overview of the evolution of the inter-religious dialogue initiatives which have multiplied, at the global level and between Europe and the MENA region in particular. It shows how they contributed to raising awareness among faith-based communities and to the direct engagement of religious representatives. The analysis concludes on the limitations of the work carried out by religious representatives if not complemented by civil society actors and intercultural dialogue initiatives aiming at convergent objectives in the EuroMed region.

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