International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Hermeneutics of the Phenomenon of Dialogue between Christians and Muslims in Contemporary Kenya
Prof. Stephen Ifedha Akaranga, Prof. Jude Julius Ongong’a

Kenya is a multi cultural society comprising over forty different ethnic communities. But, it is also a nation where the plurality of religious faith is evident. Thus, plurality exists side by side with religious pluralism. What seems obvious is the tendency to acknowledge religious plurality which underscores the number and demographic account of these religious traditions. Accordingly, it is easier to note an apparent suspicion that may seem to exist between the two monotheistic religions- Islam and Christianity. The existence of the uneasiness between the two religions as exacerbated by recent activities of Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda fundamentalists who have not only threatened the security of the nation, but have actually destroyed lives of Kenyans through bombings or military actions. It is the argument of our paper that since these inimical activities are associated with Islamic faith, Kenyans should be open to interreligious dialogue to iron out unnecessary discrimination against Muslims and to prevent prejudices and suspicions based on apparent ignorance of what Islam religion stands for as a religion of peace and respect for human dignity. The paper therefore explains the concept of interreligious dialogue, its various types and interpretation to find a trajectory for peaceful coexistence and provide an opportunity for mutual cooperation based on genuine dialogue that leads to practical activities that enhance co-existence.

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