In a recent paper (Schwartz, 1989), I argued that Jewish-Christian dialogue cannot efficaciously proceed in a conflictory, confrontational manner. Rather, I agree with Paul van Buren (1980) that dialogue is best perceived as "conversation" between like-minded people, relating with one another to achieve congenial understanding of the differences which divide them. This characterization suggests that participants in interfaith discussions need to be sympathetic yet critical; secure in their own faith, yet accepting of faiths different from their own. These "contrary" terms of an agreement between partners in dialogue indicate why discussions between Jews and Christians may be difficult—but not impossible.



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