Dr. Paul Knitter
Intercultural Engagement for Social Justice


Professor Emeritus of Theology, Xavier University, Cincinnatti, Ohio (USA). Author of No Other Name?, and One Earth Many Religions, and other books. Member of the Board of Directors of CRISPAZ (Christians for Peace in El Salvador).


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Theme: Intercultural Engagement for Social Justice

How can human societies most effectively address some of the most critical issues of our time: social and economic justice and universal human rights? What does it mean to affirm that certain things must never be done to any person and that certain other things must be done for every person? Paul Knitter, one of the greatest modern voices for religious pluralism and a veteran of the long struggle for global justice, will address that question and many others. We’ll draw on his experience and insight as we explore the vital importance of interreligious and intercultural engagement in that effort.


The UN’s “Millennium Development Goals, promulgated in 2000, stress the importance of global partnership and global citizenship if we are to build the better world in which social and economic justice are normative, rather than exceptional. We’ll also examine the essential role of cross-religious harmony in the nurturing of genuine cross-cultural mutuality.


Excerpt from Thriving in the Crosscurrent: Clarity and Hope at a Time of Cultural Sea Change (Jim Kenney, Quest Books 2010), p. 119:
The modern period, arguably the bloodiest in human history, gave rise to genocidal totalitarianism and violent fundamentalism, yet it had another, far-better side. The rise of democracies around the world (although some were, to be sure, virtual shams) will long be regarded as one of modernity’s most important contributions. At the same time, all over the world, even marginally educated people know far more today about the great challenges faced by the human community as a whole. We have, as a consequence of globalization, arrived at a point where more people on the planet know more about other peoples and cultures than ever before. To think of oneself as a “citizen of the world” has certainly become easier.

Further Reading:
Paul Knitter on religion as a force for “subverting hatred and greed”
The United Nations' Millenium Development Goals