Of those religious thinkers of modern times who have attempted to study the concept of peace to explore what is involved in establishing and maintaining peace, I want to compare the thought of two persons who have made a remarkable contribution to the topic. One is a Christian, Pope John Paul II, leader of the Catholic Church, and the other a Muslim, Mr. Fethullah Gülen, affectionately called Hoca Efendi by those inspired by his teaching. Events of the past few years have underscored the importance of dialogue among people of faith for the effective pursuit of peace. Interreligious dialogue is an alternative to the much-discussed “clash of civilizations.” Those who do not subscribe to the theory that a civilizational clash is inevitable are proposing instead a dialogue of civilizations, an exchange of views aimed at mutual enrichment, a sharing of insights that can lead all to a deeper understanding of the nature of God and God’s will for humankind on this planet.
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