FRD Chapters are comprised of respected individuals from various religious or ideological traditions that promote fruitful intra and intergroup diplomatic communication on matters of significance. The aim is to build trust and good will between critics and rivals by reaching for the whole truth together without compromising the integrity of the participants’ convictions. FRD’s method of diplomacy is neither traditional dialogue ‘only for understanding’ nor point-scoring ‘gotcha’ debate. Instead it features small heart and mind collaborative conversations that encourage mutual persuasion for change with full disclosure of motives and forthright contestation over difficult differences.
The primary work of each FRD chapters is to identify and cultivate among their membership those that desire to become religiously bi-lingual diplomats to build trust and good will persons whose convictions present a challenge to theirs. By expanding the use of heart and mind conversations and other helpful activities, FRD chapters will contribute to effective religious diplomacy in families, communities, and societies experiencing conflicts influenced in part by religious or ideological differences. Some chapters may choose to create learning immersion or exchange programs or provide other opportunities for effective development of religiously bi-lingual individuals. Others may focus on education and publishing. All are encouraged to document their heart and mind encounters in public media to model how people with rival convictions can have fruitful interactions that decrease suspicion and ill will among people that feel ethically bound to persuade others to consider a broader truth than they now hold.
In facing real world conflicts influenced by religious-like values political diplomats will need the assistance of people who have built respectful relations on cultural belief level that undergirds material and security interests. FRD diplomats will work to build trust that will facilitate material and security negotiations.
We encourage FRD members to participate with the chapter of their own tradition, and to engage members of other chapters as interest leads. The chapters are in a start-up stage. Contact Randall Paul for any questions about their development. Click on the links for your religious tradition in this site’s navigational system, and be sure to visit the blog section for updates on timely issues.