For Educators

Opening Communication Lines: Interfaith Dialogue – Background

In a world torn by religious violence, and in America, where there is terrific religious diversity, is it possible for varied faith communities to come together to discuss commonalties and differences? Would interfaith dialogue diminish or even eliminate the gaps — and the conflict — among them? And, should such dialogue be at least a step in building bridges, what processes might be involved in setting up and ensuring successful, long-term interaction?

In this lesson, students examine the benefits and shortcomings of interfaith dialogue. They determine its potential influence on the establishment of harmonious relationships among communities of different faiths. They create tools to design and implement interfaith dialogue in their school or community.

Grade Level:

Grades 9 – 12

This lesson is intended for high school grades, but can be adapted for middle school students.

Time Allotment:

Time frames accompany each activity.

Subject Matter:

Social Studies (Religion, Global Education, Civics, World History, Behaviorial Studies)

Learning Objectives

As a result of completing the lesson, the students will:

  • explain at least three reasons to advocate for and against interfaith dialogue
  • identify at least three challenges and benefits interfaith dialogue presents
  • assess and describe the impact of various approaches to interfaith dialogue
  • create interfaith dialogue tools for use in their school or community


Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning
4th Edition Standards & Benchmarks
Level IV (Grades 9-12)


    Standard 11: Understands the role of diversity in American life and the importance of shared values, political beliefs, and civic beliefs in an increasingly diverse American society

World History

    Standard 44: Understands the search for community, stability, and peace in an interdependent world

Behavioral Studies

    Standard 1: Understands that group and cultural influences contribute to human development, identity, and behavior
    Standard 4: Understands conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among individuals, groups, and institutions

Thinking and Reasoning

    Standard 1: Understands and applies the basic principles of presenting an argument
    Standard 2: Understands and applies basic principles of logic and reasoning
    Standard 3: Effectively uses mental processes that are based on identifying similarities and differences
    Standard 6: Applies decision-making techniques

This lesson was prepared by: Michele Israel