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Pope Francis Meets with Muslim Leaders

Drawing on Pope Francis’ call for a “culture of encounter,” scholars and practitioners are exploring ways to deepen interfaith collaboration around two crucial global challenges—child rights and displaced persons.

Although the overwhelming majority of the world's population participates in religious communities, faith-based organizations and interfaith networks have had only a very modest impact on the global agenda. The structure of the international system continues to favor states; nationalism drowns out religious and other voices from global civil society; and divides within and across religious communities also hobble interfaith impact. How might interfaith networks collaborate more effectively around two transnational challenges that resonate across religious traditions – care for children and displaced persons?

From 2023 to 2025 the Culture of Encounter Project will bring together scholars and religious leaders and practitioners across traditions to explore these questions through online dialogues, convenings in Washington, DC, and working papers framing the issues for a global audience.

Working Groups

Silhouettes of children running on hill at sunset

Child Rights and Family Values

Over the course of the 2023-2024 academic year, the Working Group on Child Rights and Family Values will bring together practitioners and scholars to model and promote a culture of encounter and productive interreligious dialogue around child rights issues.

Testimonials Slider

Pope Francis waves to a crowd

It is a particularly gratifying sign of our times that believers and all people of good will feel increasingly called to cooperate in shaping a culture of encounter, dialogue and cooperation in the service of our human family.

– Pope Francis to Interreligious and Ecumenical Meeting for Peace, December 1, 2017