I See that from Both Sides Now: On the Intricate Relation between Dialogue and Conversion


  • Patrik Fridlund Lund University




ethic of dialogue, ethic of conversion, interreligious relations, dialogue and conversion


There seems to be a double track in the relationship to the other. On the one hand, there is dialogue—an attitude of seeing the other as she is. On the other hand, we all seem to have some kind of worldview implying that My Way is the Best Way, at least in a certain respect—there seem to be certain points where I would like other people to see things in the same way as I do. I argue that these two seemingly opposite attitudes need not necessarily be connected to opposite values. No, both attitudes may be traced to similar ethical grounds. There is an ethic of dialogue, and there is an ethic of conversion, as it were. W.K. Clifford’s classical text ‘The Ethics of Belief’ is taken as a point of entry together with William James’s reply ‘The Will to Believe’. However, instead of picking up the traditional epistemological debate regarding Clifford and James, this article uses these texts in an argument that the relation between dialogue and conversion is an intricate one from an ethical point of view. Intricate indeed, as an ethical perspective is also related to theological standpoints and to views of religion in an interdependent fashion. Here Dorothée Sölle is given as an illustrative example.






How to Cite

Fridlund, P. (2013). I See that from Both Sides Now: On the Intricate Relation between Dialogue and Conversion. Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, 25(3), 254-272. https://doi.org/10.1558/arsr.v25i3.254