Presentation of the "Lexicon of Dialogue" in Ankara!

Presentation of the

When people of different worldviews or religions meet, language is often a problem. Even if both sides agree on a foreign language in their communication, the concepts and meanings of the words are often so different that the resulting misunderstandings can easily lead to conflicts.

The former federal constitutional judge Paul Kirchhof recognized this problem years ago and subsequently developed a "lexicon of dialogue" that explains the basic concepts of religion and community from a Christian as well as a Muslim point of view. Published in Germany a few months ago, the encyclopaedia is now being officially presented in Turkey in Ankara.

The Heidelberg constitutional law expert Paul Kirchhof is taking part in an event with Turkish scientists at the University of Ankara this week, as the German embassy in the Turkish capital has now announced. As part of this event, the lexicon of dialogue will also be presented to the public in Turkey. The two-volume encyclopaedia is intended to contribute to better understanding among believers, especially between Islam and Christianity. Even the choice of the term dialogue indicates the direction of the lexicon, because Isaac already sees the following dialogue skills as elementary:

  • Listening as allowing what is heard to have an effect on you out of an inner silence.
  • Respect as refraining from any form of defence, blame, devaluation or criticism towards the dialog partners.
  • Suspending as recognizing and observing one's own thoughts, emotions and opinions without falling into a fixie.
  • Articulate as finding your own authentic language and speaking your own truth.

The goal is to find a common language

lexikon dialogThe former federal constitutional judge Paul Kirchhof, together with scientists from Germany and Turkey, explains around 300 basic terms from the perspective of Christianity and Islam in German and Turkish. These include terms such as “God”, “peace”, “democracy” or “jihad”. Theologians and religious scholars from Germany and Turkey also explain terms ranging from the Lord's Supper to forced marriage - often from the perspective of both religions, which is what makes the different views clear.

"The goal is to find a common language," said theology professor Richard Heinzmann, one of the authors and editors, at the presentation of the book. “The words often have different meanings.” For example, Christians and Muslims understand the concept of human dignity in very different ways.

During the event in Ankara, Kirchhof will meet, among others, Mualla Selçuk, professor of religious education and co-editor of the work. Kirchhof is also chairman of the board of trustees of the Eugen Biser Foundation, which published the work.

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