Home International UK Archbishop hosting Christian-Muslim conference on ‘Common Word’

UK Archbishop hosting Christian-Muslim conference on ‘Common Word’


London : Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, announced Tuesday that he is inviting a group of Christian and Muslim leaders and scholars to a conference in October that will mark the first anniversary of the publication of A Common Word.

The conference is being held in collaboration with Cambridge University and the archbishop said the scholarly engagement will seek to consider a “program of practical steps to deepen mutual understanding, action and friendships.”

In a letter of response to the common word initiative signed now by over 250 Muslim religious leaders and scholars, he said the Anglican Church was deeply appreciative of the “significant development in relations between Christians and Muslims.”

The Church of England spiritual leader reflected on “the hospitable and friendly spirit” of the letter, acknowledging it as a timely initiative “given the growing awareness that peace throughout the world is deeply entwined with the ability of all people of faith everywhere to live together in peace, justice, mutual respect and love.”

Understanding of love of God and love of neighbour provide the basis on which Christians and Muslims can take practical steps together for a “radical, transforming, non-violent engagement with the deepest needs of our world and our common humanity,” he said.

The archbishop called for a vision for Christian-Muslim encounter that “breaks the current cycles of violence, to show the world that faith and faith alone can truly ground a commitment to peace which definitively abandons the tempting but lethal cycle of retaliation in which we simply imitate each other’s violence.”

By rejecting the notion that coercive human power is the ultimate authority and arbiter in our world, he asserted that “we can together suggest a way in which religious plurality can be seen as serving the cause of social unity and acting as a force for the common good.”

There have been over 50 positive responses from various Christian leaders and scholars from around the world to the Common Word, including from Pope Benedict XVI.