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Document Details :
Title: Complementarity or Divide?
Subtitle: Enhancing Difference in Buddhist-Christian Dialogue. In Search of a Just Peace in Sri Lanka
Author(s): FERNANDO, Jude Lal
Journal: Studies in Interreligious Dialogue
Volume: 21 Issue: 2 Date: 2011
The representation of religious and ethno-nationalist conflicts in Sri Lanka as an Orientalist-Occidentalist divide has concealed the hegemonic politics of interpretation of collective identities. In this representation, cultures and religions have been reduced to a fixed un-changing consciousness without noticing the historical changes that the cultures and religions undergo through multiple interactions and socio-political dynamics. This categorisation, in its Occidentalism, reduces biblical faith to belief in an abstract reality even as it ignores the concrete and existential meaning that faith in a transcendent God has for Semitic culture and its peoples. Correspondingly, a racialised particularistic ethic has been constructed out of Buddhism in a way that undermines its universal appeal. This article explores how Buddhism and Christianity can contribute to resolving religious and ethno-nationalist conflicts in Sri Lanka by appealing to the soteriological idioms of liberative truth and love in a dialogical mode.