26th Annual Vaishnava-Christian Dialogue Held in Washington DC


( – Amidst Potomac, Maryland’s cherry tree blossoms and spring flowers, religious scholars and spiritual practitioners gathered for the 26th Annual Vaishnava-Christian Dialogue on March 14-15th. Attendees include priests, pastors, professors from both the Protestant and Catholic traditions, and leaders and scholars from the Vaishnava tradition. Its founders, Anuttama Dasa, and Rukmini Devi Dasi, hosted the event at the ISKCON of DC Temple. The location rotates between the different traditions hosting the dialogue. Past locations have included retreat centers and a Benedictine Abbey. This was their first in-person meeting since 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The ongoing interfaith initiative gathers every spring around a pre-selected topic of discussion. Past themes have included topics like “The Name of God,” “Incarnation,” “Spiritual Disciplines,” and “Theodicy” (the problem of evil). 2023’s area of focus was “The Art of Spiritual Accompaniment,” inspired by the recent language used by Pope Francis but found (in principle) across religious traditions.

“I find this dialogue to be one of the most enriching things I do all year,” said Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON Minister of Communications. “These are mature people who have dedicated their lives to serving God and seek to live based on deeply held principles. In our polarized world, it’s refreshing to spend time with people who – despite our differences – truly want to learn from and with each other.”

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