A Reflection on the First Christian-Daoist Dialogue

Padre Paulin Batairwa Kubuya, sx

Held in Taipei October 14-15, 2016 in Baoan Temple, “Seeking the Truth Together” has been rightly referred to as an unprecedented path finder for the dialogue between Christianity and Daoism. Of the many elements emphasized were the presence of representatives from the Vatican, from the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference, and the active participation of the local church. The papers presented stirred curiosity and questions, which created changes for mutual learning. The general mood manifested not only the hospitality of the host but also the competence and mental disposition of participants to engage in a sincere and committed dialogue.

The symposium wanted to be a holistic interweaving of different cultural backgrounds, religious sensitivities, and organizations. It was not only academic but also included a taste of the religiosity of the other. Thus, there were guided tours to the respective sacred places of the participants. Multiplicity did not mean homogeneity.

The symposium offered opportunity for mutual mirroring, a chance to confront one’s assumptions.

Considering the title of the dialogue, it appeared to me that truth-seeking in the context of interreligious dialogue can be expressed through the following aphorisms:

  • Truth-seeking is inclusive – We are all seekers and we can learn from each other.
  • Truth-seeking is elastic – It includes their searching and our searching.
  • Truth relates but is not relative!
  • Truth is unfathomable; you can’t possess it all and pretend that it is still truth!
  • Truth-seeking is a never-ending adventure – it continuously unveils novelties!