March 29, 2006
Interreligious Dialogue in India: Engaging Youth
Fr. Vincent Sekhar's visit to Georgetown was built around themes of interreligious dialogue, and at this event he specifically addressed the need for youth participants in Indian interreligious dialogue. India, with its tradition of pluralism and history of sectarian violence, is a particularly challenging environment within which to pursue high levels of dialogue. Building on his experience as the Jesuit Assistant Secretary of Interreligious Dialogue in South East Asia, Fr. Sekhar works to contribute to the evolution of a theology of religions which allows for reconciliation between religion and civil government and encourages people of all faiths to participate in a democratic, secular society irrespective of their religious background.
Vincent Sekhar, SJ, is a member of the Institute of Dialogue with Cultures and Religions at Loyola College, Chennai. He previously served as the Secretary for Interreligious Dialogue for the Jesuit Conference of South Asia and as a faculty member at the Arul Anandar College in Madurai (Tamil Nadu), India. Sekhar attended the University of Madras, one of the very few Christians to receive a doctorate in Jain religion and philosophy. A Woodstock Theological Center visiting fellow in 1999, Sekhar had been director of Dhyana Ashram, the Institute for Spiritual Animation and Interreligious Relations in Madras. He has taught theology in various seminaries throughout Madras and been involved in youth ministry. He is the author of, among others, Religions in Public Life: A Practical Guide to Religious Harmony (2004). He gave a series of lectures at Georgetown in March 2006, co-sponsored by the Berkley Center, on interreligious dialogue in India and politics in post-independence India.