What is spiritual diplomacy?
Spiritual diplomacy affirms the value of all human beings.
Spiritual diplomacy does not require participants to be aligned with any religion or spiritual tradition. Emanuel Swedenborg wrote, "Our mind is our spirit,“ (Divine Love and Wisdom §386; which is not to say our mind doesn't inhabit, work through, and isn't capable of being limited by our brain and physiology). If our mind is our spirit, then to be "spiritual" is to be a person who engages in reflection on and by means of their own consciousness, no matter what perspective, beliefs or ideas they come to as a result of that reflection. Therefore to engage in spiritual diplomacy you don't have to consider yourself "spiritual" according to its mainstream definition; the only requirement is a willingness to engage in reflection. Spiritual diplomacy values and respects an individual’s capacity for reflection and the insights or perspectives she or he comes to from engaging this core element of being human.
Be part of the movement. Have a conversation!
Below are all the materials you'll need to have a Common Heart conversation yourself!
For your conversation to be a Common Heart conversation, the conversation must follow the Common Heart Conversation Structure and both participants must read over and agree to have the Common Heart Guiding Ideas set an intention for your time together. Each participant must fill out an intake and release form. When you're ready to submit the forms and a digital file of your conversation, fill out the form here and I'll be in touch with further instructions. Be sure as well to take a picture of you and your conversation partner to submit with your conversation for the website!
—The time estimates for each part of the conversation are just that, suggested estimates as a guide. It is fine if your conversation is shorter or longer. Anything well beyond 60 minutes will be edited down to closer to an hour.
—You don’t have to follow the question list serially. Pay attention to what your conversation partner is saying and choose questions that you are led to ask based on the spiritual outlook you hear them describing. This will become clearer as the conversation progresses, so you'll likely need to ask some things point blank at first and then see where it leads.
—Feel free to make up your own questions! The question list is just suggestions to make getting into the conversation easier.
—The point is reflection, so pause before responding with stock answers and ask yourself, "What do I really think about this?"
—The purpose is the conversation, not just answering questions, so feel free to allow the conversation to evolve as you go along.
Common Heart Conversations Submitted from Around the World
As Part of Their Alternative Spring Break with The Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia
(read more about it here)
Clay, Eastern Orthodox
Clay and Shanice both are aligned with different denominations currently than the ones they were raised in. Listen as they talk about how their faith has evolved and the principles they've come to value most today.
Catherine, Raised Lutheran
Benson and Catherine's conversation affirms the idea that faith is a journey and that even when we grapple with some elements from the faith we were raised in, that doesn't mean we can't cherish others. Perhaps a healthy faith is like a plant, flexible as it grows, bending toward the light--what makes the most sense and has the most warmth--and strengthened by the wind.
N. Glover, Christian
K. Colwell, Catholic
Both from strongly devout families in different denominations, Nadia and Kalashya are walking the path of making their faith their own. With humility and inquisitiveness, they share honestly about their experiences and the parts of their faith that have helped them through hard times the most.