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Press Release of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, 17.10.2018

The First International Buddhist-Christian Dialogue for Nuns
Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monstery, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
(14-18 October 2018)

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID), in collaboration with Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery, the Association of the Major Superiors of Religious Women in Taiwan, and Dialogue Interreligieux Monastique·Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (DIM·MID) has organized the First International Buddhist-Christian Dialogue for Nuns, which will take place at Fo Guang Shan, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, from October 14-18, 2018. The main theme of the conference is Contemplative Action and Active Contemplation: Buddhist and Christian Nuns in Dialogue”.

Seventy Buddhist and Catholic nuns mainly from Taiwan, but also from other countries, namely, South Korea, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Cambodia, the Philippines, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Norway, and the United States, will participate in this international dialogue. H.E. Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, (Secretary) and Msgr Indunil Janakaratne Kodithuwakku Kankanamalage (Undersecretary with responsibility for Buddhism), will represent the PCID. Rev. Father William Skudlarek OSB, Secretary General of MID and also Consultor to the PCID, will lead a delegation comprised of fourteen Catholic monastic women from Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Rev. Dr Simone Sinn will represent the World Council of Churches, Geneva.

The agenda of the First International Buddhist-Christian Dialogue for Nuns includes the following items: The Origin, Evolution and Present-day Situation of Monastic Religious Life for Women in Buddhism and Christianity; Buddhist and Christian Approaches to Active Contemplation and Contemplative Action (Right Mindfulness and Right Conduct); Buddhist Meditation and Christian Contemplation; The Service of Buddhist and Christian Nuns to Humanity; Religious Women Promoting the ‘Feminine Genius’; Sharing Stories of Buddhist-Christian Solidarity and Envisioning Future Possibilities.

This international dialogue seeks to achieve two main objectives: 1) to promote dialogue of spiritual or religious experience: “The dialogue of religious experience, where persons, rooted in their own religious traditions, share their spiritual riches, for instance with regard to prayer and contemplation, faith and ways of searching for God or the Absolute (Dialogue and Proclamation, n. 42); 2) to create more space for women to participate in interreligious dialogue.