Building Bridges among Women from Different Faith Traditions

By Rosa Sevy.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article describes the findings of a postdoctoral research project aimed to investigate best practices for inter-religious bridging. This investigation sought to understand the experiences of mainly Muslim, Jewish and Christian women, all mothers of elementary-aged school children, who engaged in an inter-religious encounter framed in the context of an 8-session parenting program. Utilizing an interdisciplinary theoretical framework and qualitative data collected through the researcher’s observations, interviews and a questionnaire based evaluation forms, this work suggests that engaging women from different faith traditions in inter-religious encounters not based on faith discussions has the potential to shift mutual anxieties, perceptions and stereotypes to more positive positions based on the commonalities discovered as women and mothers going through the challenges of parenthood. Engaging women from different faith traditions in initiatives aimed at exploring their common concerns and providing them with a safe space to engage in that discussion can prove very effective in facilitating dialogue and building bridges and perception change among participants.

Keywords: Women, Inter-religious Encounters, Inter-faith Dialogue, Parenting, Jewish-Muslim-Christian, Inter-group Contact

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.65-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 387.932KB).

Dr. Rosa Sevy

Postdoctoral Fellow, Iona Pacific Inter-religious Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Dr. Sevy is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Iona Pacific Inter-Religious Centre at Vancouver School of Theology, Vancouver B.C. She completed her Master’s program in psychology at the Universidad Anahuac in Mexico City. Her clinical work has focused primarily on children and families. In Canada, she attended the University of British Columbia where she earned her PhD in Sociology. Dr. Sevy has worked extensively with refugee and immigrant families. In the past years, she has become actively involved in inter-religious dialogue initiatives as a way to promote collaboration among members from different faith traditions and engage diverse communities in pluralistic dialogue. For the past few years she has been a member of the Lower Mainland Jewish-Christian Dialogue Steering Committee.