This book aims to advance theoretical and practical engagement with dialogue by introducing the work of ten individuals who have made important and insightful contributions to thought in this area. The thinkers selected come from diverse fields, from religious studies and interfaith dialogue, through philosophy and social theory, to communication studies, public opinion analysis and even quantum physics.
A great deal of hope seems to be pinned on ‘dialogue’ in the contemporary world. The word is regularly raised in the context of a range of pressing issues, from the need for intercultural understanding in a globalised world, to the economic and ecological crises crying out for creative, collaborative responses, to the political process of policy and law-making at both national and international levels. Dialogue would thus seem to merit serious reflection and experimentation. The thinkers considered in this volume are among those who have afforded it this kind of attention.
This introduction to their work is intended to inform and inspire anyone with an interest in the meaning, value and potential of dialogue, particularly those engaged with dialogue in a professional, academic, voluntary or personal capacity. No background knowledge is assumed. It is hoped that in these pages readers will discover inspiring new thinkers to engage with, and perhaps new facets to more familiar thinkers. The book also includes discussion of a wide range of practical dialogue organisations and projects which may provide further food for thought and ideas for practice.