“…educate leaders who can bring about better understanding among religious traditions and cultures …”
In today's world, we experience a diversity of people, cultures and religions as a result of increasing globalization. Such an intermingling of faiths and traditions leads more often than not either to hegemony or segregation. In both cases, diversity is feared and otherness ostracized, with tragic effects for peace among different civilizations.
This world-wide situation calls for a new generation of individuals, well trained in
intercultural/inter-religious dialogue and knowledgeable of traditions different from
their own. Thus the creation of an international foundation (IFIIE) dedicated to the
education of “intercultural mediators” capable of facing the challenge of ethnic and
religious diversity in the context of nation states.
Although acknowledging the significance and value of diversity, the IFIIE does not
espouse a relativistic, or nihilistic view of either ethics or religious liberty. Its objective
is to further the search for common values among members of different cultural and
religious backgrounds, in the belief that this is the only way to make dialogue both
appealing and genuine.
This explains why – in addition to examining their own and others' traditions -
candidates/applicants for fellowships will be encouraged to study human rights and responsibilities,
in a cross cultural perspective. These it seems, still constitute a common language in a
world otherwise divided in political and ideological matters.
The creation and purpose of the “International Foundation for Interreligious and
Intercultural Education” (IFIIE) is based on the general motivations mentioned above.