Summer School on Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations

The Society of Jesus is actively involved in inter-religious dialogue. In India, the first focus, in fact, could be a dialogue between Christians and Hindus. However, given the often-exacerbated tensions with Muslim communities, the Jesuits are also involved in dialogue between Christians and Muslims. The scholasticate in Delhi, for example, offers courses on this subject; in addition to the classes, students can take advantage of an intensive session that Jesuit professor Joseph Victor Edwin tells us about.

Seeking peaceful coexistence in our increasingly diverse and interconnected world

By Joseph Victor Edwin SJ | Vidyajyoti Institute of Religious Studies, Delhi

The Henry Martyn Institute in Hyderabad hosted the Summer School on Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations in 2024. The program was held from 28 April to 4 May and focused on the need for four types of dialogues with Muslims. These dialogues included the dialogue of life, where individuals strive to live in an open and friendly way by sharing their joys and sorrows, their human problems, and preoccupations. The dialogue of action, where Christians and Muslims collaborate towards common good. The dialogue of religious experience, where people rooted in their religious traditions share their spiritual riches. And, lastly, the dialogue of theological exchange, where scholars engage in deep discussions that help to build understanding and foster mutual respect.


The program included comprehensive classroom presentations on a range of Islam-related topics, delivered by both Muslim and Christian scholars on Islam. These presentations were complemented by visits to a local mosque, a madrasa (a school that teaches juridical and religious Muslim texts), a shia ashur khana (a place of mourning for Shia Muslims), a Sufi dargah (a shrine or tomb built over the grave of a revered religious figure in the Sufi tradition), and the Students Islamic Organisation’s office. During these visits, participants had the opportunity to learn and interact with Muslims on different aspects of Muslim life in India.

One of the participants of the Summer School, Sunanda Victor, shared her learning that dialogue is a form of reciprocal communication that establishes a deeper level of interpersonal connection. She further emphasized that dialogue is an attitude of respect and friendship that is crucial in promoting mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence among individuals of different faiths.

Hebsiba Male, another participant, learned that Christians must have a solid understanding of their faith and traditions to engage in a meaningful dialogue with Muslims. She added that Christians and Muslims must have a clear identity and approach each other with an open mind and positive attitude while engaging in dialogue.

Joseph Victor Edwin SJ, who coordinated the program, highlighted that the Summer School aims to equip participants with the skills to recognize themselves as pilgrims of truth and peace. Rev. Packiam T. Samuel, the director of the Institute, emphasized that Christians and Muslims should come together to listen, get to know and respect each other and collaborate towards the greater good. Essentially, the program underscored the significance of interfaith dialogue in fostering mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence in our increasingly diverse and interconnected world.

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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