A Human Communication Approach to Interreligious Dialogue

Anton Karl Kozlovic


Interreligious dialogue schemes based upon different faith traditions exist; however, to chose one scheme over another can generate religious tensions, possible accusations of bias and even event-cum-religion snubbing. One way of circumventing this potential problem is to adopt a generic, non-sectarian model based upon human communication science. The critical literature was reviewed and Taylor et al.'s (1977) classic transactional communication model (TCM) was explicated. This eight-element model comprising of (1) Source, (2) Stimulus, (3) Receiver, (4) Sensory Receptors, (5) Interpretation/Response, (6) Noise, (7) Feedback and (8) Situation/Context was applied to a hypothetical bi-lateral dialogue to demonstrate its methodological viability. This scientific (re)conceptualisation of dialoguing redefined its constitutive elements, provided new insights into the theoretical foundations of the enterprise, and highlighted important praxis requirements for the design, organisation and running of future events. Further research into this exciting interdisciplinary field was recommended.

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