Le Duc - The Church’s Mission of Dialogue in the Digital Age
The Church’s Mission of Dialogue in the Digital Age
By Anthony Le Duc, SVD
The development of Internet Communication Technology (ICT) has led the world into a new context with social, philosophical, and theological implications. It also presents missionary challenges that demand due response from Church leaders and members. This paper explores the nature of the present context and the ramifications that this milieu holds for the Catholic Church and the Church’s relationship with other religions. Close examination indicates that the digital age characterized by exponential increase in knowledge production, heightened sense of enclavism, and difficult to control disinformation about religions and religious matters places society at great risks for interreligious misunderstanding and conflict. It proposes that the way for the Church to respond to the present milieu is by taking a proactive approach in the mission of dialogue, engaging both the listening, and proclaiming dimensions. This mission of dialogue should no longer be viewed as simply a way of being Church but rather the way of being Church in the modern context. Without a proactive approach to mission of dialogue, the Church risks having its voice being drowned out by the great plethora of voices both inside and outside of the Church, many of which aim to disrupt unity within the Church as well as the Church’s missionary endeavors.
Keywords: Interreligious dialogue, Digital Age, Church Mission