Vatican II's Nostra Aetate reversed the Catholic Church's centurieslong attitude toward other religions, from condemnation to dialogue. In the last fifty years the church has instituted important structures, issued teachings, and undertaken pathbreaking activities to consolidate dialogue and friendship with the religious other. The lecture examines whether the current impression that interreligious dialogue has hit an impasse is justified. It surveys the contemporary religious landscape of the US and argues that interfaith dialogue is imperative for the wellbeing of both the nation and the Christian church.
Peter Phan is Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University.