In this volume the voices of some 60 persons from a variety of cultures and religions from every corner of the globe join in chorus to express a common longing for peace. Far from a simple plea for the cessation of hostilities and the minimum of tolerance needed for coexistence, they call for the construction of new societies enriched by the very plurality that has been the cause of such great strife in our times. Educators, civil servants, police, monastic and religious leaders, politicians, artists, poets, and academics-all of them familiar with the grim reality of a sick and fractured world, and all of them persuaded that a cure is within our reach if we can but find a way to step over our differences into the common ground of intercultural and interreligious cooperation.
Edmund Kee-Fook CHIA is a Malaysian of ethnic Chinese descent. From 1996 to 2004 he served as Executive Secretary of the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences. Since 2004 he has been on the faculty of the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, where he teaches courses on subjects ranging from Interreligious Dialogue and Inculturation to Asian Theologies. He has a Ph.D. in Intercultural Theology from the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands.
James W. HEISIG completed doctoral studies at Cambridge University, England, and lectured for several years in the United States and Latin America before joining the staff of the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture in Nagoya, Japan, in 1979 as a permanent fellow. During his years at the Institute, which he served as director from 1991 to 2001, he has been actively engaged in promoting dialogue among religions and philosophies East and West, both in Japan and throughout East Asia.