Editor's Note: The Swedish Theological Institute (STI) is located in West Jerusalem, outside the Old City. The STI was established to create a theological center to give Christian students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of Judaism as well as Christianity and Islam.
By: Arnoldo Aguilar
A fundamental motivation for dialogue between different religious traditions is to
question the status quo and its popular perception of reality. The goal is to embody the peace to which the sacred writings attest. An understanding of "The Other" constitutes an important basis for the possibility of such interreligious dialogue.
This work promises important advances in the creation of a society where justice and peace reach all human beings regardless of their religious tradition.
Recently I had the extraordinary opportunity to participate in the course "Jerusalem: One City - Three Religions." This course was offered from February 18 to March 30, 2019, by the Swedish Theological Institute (STI) and the Church of Sweden. This experience created an intercultural and interethnic space for gathering pastoral agents and Christian educators from Asia, Africa and Latin America to analyze different aspects of the reality of Jerusalem, the Holy Land.
I want to present this experience in the context of "the two Jerusalems."
One Jerusalem, always fascinating, is evidence of the history of the people of God and the promised Messiah. Being in Bethlehem, at the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee, the Holy Sepulcher, and the Mount of Olives makes the original contexts of the biblical narratives flourish in a renewed light. Devotion transpires in every place that connotes a biblical fact. This experience can be so intense that, in extreme cases, it produces the so-called "Jerusalem syndrome."