Experience, Tradition and Conversation

On my recent travels I had lunch with a chaplaincy colleague at the Imperial College, London. He is Anglican and works openly with colleagues from other faiths.

Today I was reading a post about Mindfulness on his blog.

Christian Spirituality and Mindfullness

It seems to me that Andrew is following a path of understanding and respect for other faiths that is most helpful as we negotiate religious pluralism. He is bringing his tradition with him as he relates to his non-Christian colleagues while expanding his own experience by participating in domains one might think of as being outside usual Christian practice.

This is in keeping with the pattern being demonstrated by Dave Andrews in Brisbane, as he joins in the practice of Ramadan with his Muslim friends, bringing his Christian tradition with him and reflecting on the experience.

I suppose it is easy enough for those of us who are already working with friends from other faiths, particularly if our daily work is in the religious domain. But I wonder whether there is a pattern here – make friends in our everyday life (by the practice of hospitality as making space for the other), note what appeals that is in common and extend our experiences together – a form of collaboration in life.

Ultimately, we can’t leave this process of friendship, mutual experience and reflection to religious professionals. Like the Faith Friendly Communities project, it has to be normalised in everyday life.

For those of us who are leaders in the religious domain, creating such conditions seems to me to be one of our greatest challenges. The two Andrew’s – Andrew Wilson and Dave Andrews seem to me to be showing the way.


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