Issue 46, December 2005
Interrelationships of ethics, law, justice and politics
Under the joint auspices of the Center for Interreligious Dialogue of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Office of Interreligious Relations and Dialogue of the World Council of Churches, a delegation from Iran comprised of Muslim religious scholars and a representative of the Assyrian Church of the East, thus testifying to the inclusiveness of the Iranian delegation, met with Christian church representatives from Europe and the United States to explore the theme "The relation between ethics and law: with emphasis on politics".
The consultation, the fifth in a series of dialogues sponsored by the two organizations, took place in Geneva, 26-27 September, 2005. Previous dialogues were held in Geneva and Tehran.
Participants explored Muslim and Christian approaches to the relationships among religion, ethics, law, politics and justice, and the role of this nexus of relationships in our respective societies and in the international order. The papers presented by various participants, and the discussion they occasioned, reflected a common concern about the negative effects of secularism and secularization, inequities in the international order, and the need for religious engagement with these issues.
Although there are distinct characteristics to the approaches our traditions take to these questions of great import, participants shared common concerns about injustice and the challenges to our respective faith communities posed by hostility to, or indifference toward, faith in God and the quest to discern God's will. It was agreed that this dialogue is valuable, indeed essential, and should be pursued. It was also agreed that in the interim there should be steady contact between the staff of our two organizations, so that we might respond in a timely way to events that may challenge our relationship, or that may elicit common concern.
This statement was drafted by Dr Dale Bishop and agreed by the participants at the consultation in Geneva, 27 September, 2005. (09/10/2005).