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The Commission and Its Work

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Getting to Know Neighbors of
Other Faiths
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Blogging at http://www.nccinterfaith.blogspot.com




Articles and papers by Shanta Premawardhana

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(Cooperative Congregational Studies Project)

'Passion of the Christ' Reflection Guide and Study Resources
Presbyterian Interfaith Listening Pilot Project 2002


A Word About Funding...

The work of the NCC Office for Interfaith Relations is funded primarily by gifts from NCC member churches specifically designated for interfaith relations. Some support also comes from grants allocated to specific projects. Increasingly we are looking for generous individuals to help us provide resources and develop new programs.  Contact Shanta Premawardhana if you can help, and/or for more information.

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Christians and Neighbors Of
Other Religions in the U.S.A

What does it mean to be a Christian in an increasingly pluralistic and multi-ethnic nation?   The NCC Office for Interfaith Relations provides resources for Christians to explore the challenges and opportunities of living among people of other faiths.

We are available to consult with local groups, congregations, denominational bodies and community organizations on your interfaith relations concerns. Expenses and a small honorarium are requested but not required.  Both staff and Commission members can:

  • lead a workshop or speak to an educational gathering;
  • teach a course or educational series;
  • help you design an educational event, or get a dialogue underway;
  • help you respond to difficult interreligious situations;
  • assist you in planning a new interfaith effort;
  • aid in shaping a vision for your interreligious organization, and in other aspects of its development.

Adult Education Training Programs for Communions, Congregations and Interfaith Groups:

God is One

Interfaith Dialogue Training


Three Faiths, One God: Judaism, Christianity, Islam thoughtfully examines the religious beliefs and practices shared by Jews, Christians and Muslims to illustrate how many individuals in the Abrahamic faith communities are dealing with historical conflicts yet remain dedicated to facilitating understanding and respect. Three Faiths, One God captures a broad range of voices and ideas of ordinary people and respected scholars in the interfaith field. The program contrasts the religious practices of the three faiths, including the rituals of fasting and marriage.

Jews and Christians: A Journey of Faith is a 90-minute, in-depth inquiry into the intertwined history of Jews and Christians. Produced by Auteur Productions, and based on the book by Marvin Wilson, Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith, this video offers helpful insight into how Christianity and Judaism have defined themselves and developed in close sibling relationship. It shows the similarities and differences in liturgical practice, piety and theology that have been so often misunderstood in the long relationship between Christians and Jews, and includes footage of today's hopeful Christian-Jewish dialogues. A guide with additional written material is also available. For more information go to www.jewsandchristiansjourney.com.

Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet tells the story of the seventh century prophet who changed world history in 23 years, and continues to shape the lives of more than 1.2 billion people. The film takes viewers not only to ancient Middle Eastern sites where Muhammad’s story unfolds, but into the homes, mosques and workplaces of some of America’s estimated seven million Muslims to discover the many ways in which they follow Muhammad’s example. A KQED presentation and produced by Kikim Media and unity Productions Foundation it is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Copies of these outstanding educational resources with accompanying study guides can be ordered by writing to Sarosh Koshy at the Office of Interfaith Relations, email:

Forgiveness and Reconciliation 

Panel discussions at the “World’s Religions after 9/11 Conference” held in Montreal, Canada, from September 12-15, 2006 

The NCCCUSA Interfaith Relations Commission organized two panels entitled “Forgiveness and Reconciliation” at the World’s Religions after 9/11 conference. The first panel was an evaluation of the Christian understanding of the theme through the faith perspectives of individual communions and traditions. The second panel was organized around the appreciation of the theme by the other major religions of the world.  

Individual presentations can be accessed by clicking the names of the panelists. 

Panel I

“Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Perspectives from Various Christian Traditions”                                   
Rev. Lyndon Harris (Chair) -- Episcopal
Rev. Lydia Veliko – United Church of Christ
Rev. Dr. Tom Ryan – Roman Catholic
Rev. Dr. Michael Ellis – African Methodist Episcopal Zion                        
Rev. Dr. Tony Richie – Pentecostal

Panel II

“Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Perspectives from Various Religious Traditions”
Prof. Jane Smith (Chair) – Christian
Rabbi Dr. Daniel Brenner – Jewish
Dr. Thillayvel Naidoo – Hindu
Dr. Muhammad Shafiq – Muslim
Dr. Manohar Singh Grewal – Sikh

Christian Theology’s Engagement with Religious Pluralism           

At the American Academy of Religion meetings in November 2005 in Philadelphia, and in November 2006 in Washington DC, the Interfaith Relations Commission sponsored two Special Topics Forums. Some of the papers that were presented at those events are linked here. We are also encouraging web-based dialogue on these papers. Access to that dialogue requires authorization. Please write an email requesting authorization to: skoshy@ncccusa.org

2005 AAR Special Topics Forum

Theme: Christian Theology's Engagement with Religious Pluralism

In this forum, scholars of religion and theology discuss Christian theological thinking and the challenge of religious pluralism. What does it mean for Christian theology to take seriously the engagement of Christians with the world of religious pluralism? Does religious pluralism create a new global and local context for theological thinking? How will an engagement with religious pluralism impact theological education in the years ahead?

Chair: Barbara Brown Zikmund, Catholic University of America

            Diana Eck, Harvard University
            Paul Rajashekar, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
            Damayanthi Niles, Eden Theological Seminary
            Tony Richie, Society of Pentecostal Studies
            Francis Tiso, US Conference of Catholic Bishops

2006 AAR Special Topics Forum    

Theme: Christian Theology's Engagement with Religious Pluralism: Biblical Texts and Themes

In this forum, scholars of religion and theology discuss the challenges religious pluralism poses to Christian theological thinking with a specific focus on difficult biblical texts and themes. How have traditional biblical ideas such as the dualisms between light and darkness, the divine and the demonic, heaven and hell and the exclusive claims regarding Jesus Christ shaped Christian thinking about religions? How are Christians in the 21st century wrestling with these biblical texts and motifs in their efforts to articulate a theology of religions today?

Chair: Shanta Premawardhana, National Council of Churches USA

Amos Yong, Regent University: “'The Light Shines in the Darkness': Johannine Dualism and the Challenge of Christian Theology of Religions Today."

Gerald McDermott, Roanoke College: "Gods, Principalities and Powers in the Bible: Implications for Christian Theology of the Religions."

Marjorie Suchocki, Claremont School of Theology (Professor Emerita): “Transforming Heaven and Hell.”

Francis X Clooney, Harvard University: "John 6: 68-69: How My Study of Hinduism Illumines, Contests, and Intensifies Peter's Confession."

Kenneth Cracknell, Brite Divinity School
Wesley Ariarajah, Drew University