Because religions make claims about the truth, the beliefs of any one religion necessarily contradict some of the claims of another. Yet devotees of different faiths have found ways to live together in peace and even engage in meaningful religious dialogue. Daniel Johnson delves into the problems inherent in interreligious dialogue in general, and Jewish-Catholic dialogue in particular, and speculates about the possibilities of including Muslims. He writes:
Perhaps the overriding intellectual imperative of a globalized world, in which no culture can hope to isolate itself or to avoid the encounter with others, is to make it possible for those holding different and potentially antagonistic beliefs to live in peace with one another. This is a particular duty for those whose vocation it is to teach with authority, whether sacerdotal or academic; yet it is a duty that is almost always shirked. . . . Taking responsibility not only for what is taught but for what follows from the teaching, for what is done in the name of religion or ideology, seems to pose an almost insuperable challenge for the guardians of doctrine.
Yet doctrine, “teaching” or “that which is taught,” implies, like the cognate term “doctor,” worldly as well as spiritual authority. . . . How then may the arbiters and exponents of doctrine be persuaded to soften their orthodoxy sufficiently to open up a space in which competing claims to truth may be resolved or not, as the case may be, but in any case without bloodshed?