Dilatato Corde 2:1
January - June, 2012
The Magi depicted in Persian clothing. Mosaic, ca. 565.
The Magi depicted in Persian clothing. Mosaic, ca. 565.


With this issue, Dilatato Corde begins its second year of publication. The idea of founding a journal focused on the dialogue of religious experience and spiritual practice was raised at the October 2008 meeting of the European coordinators of Dialogue Interreligieux Monastique●Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (DIMMID). The coordinators agreed that the proposal merited study, and an ad hoc committee met twice during the following year to consider it. In 2010 an editorial board and an advisory board were formed. Finally, on January 1, 2011, the journal was launched, along with this new website.

Anyone involved in the practice or study of interreligious dialogue knows that the number of conferences, seminars, books and journals devoted to this endeavor has increased exponentially in recent years. Most interreligious activities and publications are either academic or social in nature, focused on scholarly research into theological, philosophical, philological, and historical questions, or designed to expedite interreligious collaboration in the resolution of conflict and the promotion of human development.

Without in any way calling into question the value and necessity of these forms of interreligious dialogue, DIMMID wants to ensure that the dialogue of religious practice and spiritual experience not be overlooked or regarded as of secondary importance.

As was already noted in the opening lines of Nostra Aetate, questions about the ultimate meaning of life undergird the world’s great religious traditions. Each of them represents a different way of describing the human predicament, a different way of asking questions about what it means to be human, and a different key response regarding what we need to do, or to receive from above, to know—intellectually and experientially—the truth of our existence.

As we become aware of these different ways of posing and responding to questions about the meaning and goal of human existence, our hearts are expanded (dilatato corde) by the wisdom and practices of other spiritual traditions. At the same time, we are challenged to examine the religious heritage in which we were formed, and as we do, we often discover not only weaknesses and lacunae, but also treasures that had been lost or buried.

With Dilatato Corde wehope to provide a medium for recording, reflecting on, and evaluating these heart-expanding experiences of coming to know another religious tradition and perhaps even benefitting from its spiritual practices. Of fundamental importance for this journal are the personal testimonies of such experiences. In addition to giving information and encouragement to other seekers, they provide data for theologians to reflect on and evaluate. As one of last year’s authors put it, « Je crois en Jésus Fils de Dieu et Sauveur universel, mais je ne puis plus admettre qu’il y ait une religion qui soit supérieure à toutes les autres et qui les écrase... et que ce soit la mienne - que les théologiens se débrouillent avec cette apparente contradiction, c’est leur métier !... » (I believe in Jesus, Son of God and universal savior, but I cannot imagine that there is one religion that is superior to all the others and does away with them—that religion being mine, of course. Let the theologians deal with this apparent contradiction. That is what they are there for.”)

While it is true that “Every experience worthy of the name thwarts an expectation,”[1] a spiritual experience rooted in and nourished by interreligious dialogue is usually not all that extraordinary or profound.In fact, the more ordinary, the better. The well-known Zen dictum “Before enlightenment, carrying water and chopping word; after enlightenment, carrying water and chopping wood” expresses an understanding of the spiritual journey that other traditions would easily recognize and gladly confirm.

We therefore invite you, our readers, to tell your story, be it in prose or poetry, in image or sound. What led you to look beyond the horizons of your own religious tradition? How has your heart been stretched by the teachers of wisdom who come from the East and offer us their gifts? As Leo D. Lefebure and Peter Feldmeier point out in the introduction to their commentary on the Dhammapada, “From ancient times to the present, the search for wisdom has involved the crossing of cultural and religious boundaries.”[2] If you are among the many who have crossed such boundaries, come back and tell us what you found. We will all be the richer for it.

[1] Hans Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method, 2nd rev. ed. (New York: Crossroad NY, 1989), p. 356. Cited in Leo D. Lefebure and Peter Feldmeier, The Path of Wisdom. A Christian Commentary on the Dhammapada (Leuven-Paris-Walpole MA: 2011), p. 5.

[2] Ibid., p, 7.

Home | DIMMID Introduction | DILATATO CORDE
Current issue
Numéro actuel
Previous issues
Numéros précédents
| About/Au sujet de
| News Archive | Abhishiktananda | Monastic/Muslim Dialogue | Links / Liens | Photos | Videos | Contact | Site Map
Powered by Catalis