“I'll get you a nice cup of tea.” There can be few people in these islands – particularly in England – who have not heard these words at a time of distress. In shock or bereavement many of us will have smiled through our tears at being gently offered the national sacrament of solidarity.
I’ve overheard some interesting conversations this week while travelling on public transport. As any Londoner knows, the unwritten rule is that you can be chatty on the buses, but it’s really not done to talk too much on the Tube. So I’ll start with a beautiful conversation from a ride on that previously mentioned (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/14356) rammed bus to Deptford Bridge.
Questioning the coherence of the newly-initiated World Interfaith Harmony Week, Michael Marten says that if neither 'faith' nor 'religion' really serve as useful comparative or relational concepts, it is perhaps intellectually more honest, and practically more fruitful, to abandon the pretence of ‘interfaith’ dialogue in favour of simple ‘interhuman’ dialogue.
Last week, an elderly man attributed several unpleasing characteristics to me because I was wearing a white poppy. My efforts to engage with him and to explain my reasons came to nothing because he was too angry and upset to listen.
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, from the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, has said religions should be prepared to ask tough questions. He says it is unrealistic to pretend there is only one global faith.
World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia has called upon all Kenyan political leaders to keep moving towards dialogue while praising the countries' churches for their role in peacemaking.
After four days of meetings, some 240 leaders of a broad range of churches, confessions and interchurch organizations from over 70 countries agreed to carry forward what they call "the Global Christian Forum process" - an open dialogue platform.