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28 Feb 2018

Anglicans involved in planning prestigious Interfaith training

For the past three years, the famous French grande école Sciences-Po Paris has organised Emouna ("trust"), a certificate in interfaith training given after 18 full-day sessions.

Emouna is supported by the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churches in France, as well as the leadership of liberal and orthodox Judaism, Islam and Buddhism.

The training is based around confronting difficult practical issues together, such as sacred texts, marriage, abortion, Jerusalem, violence and salvation.

The testimony of alumni has been both encouraging and moving. 

Such has been the success of the course that it is now proposed to extend it to Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Canon Jack McDonald (Leuven) attended a three-day meeting in Paris in February to discuss introducing Emouna to the Université Catholique de Louvain (the French-speaking equivalent of KU Leuven, situated in the new town of Louvain-la-Neuve, 30km south of Leuven).

The planning included a visit to the Quai d'Orsay, the French Foreign Ministry, where the planning group as received by M. Jean-Christophe Peaucelle, the French Foreign Ministry's Advisor for Religious Affairs. M. Peaucelle was quick to point out that France, the country of laïcité, has a full-time ambassador devoted to religious issues and diplomacy, underlining the importance of religious peace in today's world.