Is this a good title for a book or collection of essays on building interfaith and inter-cultural relations?

When I was in France, I actually did an outline of a book.  It has changed since then.  But that is part of the practice, I think:  building and living in such relationships requires the ability to create as we move along together.

I’ve been looking again at books that have really nourished me in my own work of building relationships.  One is We Make the Road by Walking, which is the record of conversations between Myles Horton and Paulo Freire.  It touches on many topics, but two related emphases come up repeatedly.  First, be prepared to radically alter, or even discard, whatever theoretical framework you prepared ahead of time, in order to get, and to keep, learning underway.  And second, the path of movement into change is a path discovered together with those involved, and in the doing.  Lots of trial and error; no one person necessarily in control or steering; requiring the practice of welcoming new insights, otherness, and creative lurches ahead.

Another important book for me is The Moral Imagination: the Art and Soul of Peacebuilding, by John Paul Lederach.  In this book, Lederach asks, “What disciplines, if they were not present, would make peacebuilding impossible.    He finds that these disciplines are “relationship, paradoxical curiosity, creativity, and risk.”  The book looks at these in detail as that which lies behind or along-side the analysis, techniques, and the sheer work of peace-building, bringing it to life.

I think that these sorts of attitudes and practices also are central to the building of authentic engagement between those of different religions, cultures and ethnicities.   And to me, “vulnerability” describes what all of these, and a few additional, disciplines require; vulnerability is their source, or at least necessary for their actual practice.  And together these disciplines, and the vulnerability at their heart, shape what might even be called a spirituality, or way, to interfaith and intercultural engagement.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation, and change,” says Brene Brown, in her latest TED Talk http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame.html

Vulnerability is also the birthplace of relationship and creative engagement among peoples.  This is what I want to explore and describe.

What do you think?  Does the title work for you?

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