Volume XII:1 January - June 2022


Meeting of the Commission of
Inter-monastic Dialogue in Korea 

The commission of Inter-monastic Dialogue in Korea (MIDK) held its regular meeting in the Retreat Center of St. Benedict Seoul Monastery on December 6, 2021. The commission invited two monastics to the meeting, Sister Sŭng-hye Kim (Ph.D.), who belongs to the Korean Province of the Sisters of Charity Seton Hill, and a Buddhist monk, Heo Jeong.
Sister Kim, author of many books and former professor of the science of religion at Sogang University, has long been involved in interreligious dialogue in Korea. She spoke to us about the history of interreligious dialogue in our country and then described three kinds of dialogue: 1) between religious leaders, 2) a among religious people who have authority and influence, 3) in the academy. The committee members were especially interested in her description of how dialogue in the academy can be conducted. Religious sisters, monastics,
and laity read a book they have chosen. After coming together to discuss their understanding of book, they publish their reflections. She also shared with us her various experiences with Buddhist nuns, in particular a dialogue on ecology. She was very interested to learn about the beginnings of Inter-monastic Dialogue in Korea and offered her encouragement to the committee.
The second person invited to speak to us was Heo Jeong, a Buddhist monk. He joined the sangha about 30 years ago and studied early Buddhism in India. He was also expressed his interest in inter-monastic dialogue and shared his experience of monasticism and interreligious dialogue. Having devoted himself to the renewal of the Buddhist sangha in Korea, he also spoke about some of the challenges faced by the sangha at the present time. 
Time was also given to sharing ways of meditation and other monastic practices to deepen our appreciation of their importance in the life of contemplatives, both Christian and Buddhist.
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