On dialog (particularly interreligious dialog)
If you don't have the will to risk (your assumptions, your presuppositions, your beliefs), you won't be afforded the pleasure of a genuine conversation anywhere, nor will you have a genuine democracy.
He also said that transformation only occurs if we are willing to be changed by our encounters and conversations. Otherwise, all we have is presentation meets presentation.
On the perception of America around the world:
America is the gated-community of the world neighborhood. We want to keep others out and protect what we've got inside.
On invading other countries:
We can now invade a country with a satellite dish.
On hope and hopelessness:
Hopelessness causes us to withdraw, to lock doors, to retreat into the safety of our enclaves that share our beliefs, worldview, assumptions.
People go into their enclaves to avoid the big open spaces that postmodernity created.
If you have hope, you act. Hope leads to risk-taking action.
Hopelessness leads us not to creating a better world or believing one is possible but to protecting what we've got, to defending what we already have from being taken.
Dr. Paul Knitter, another one of my professors, was also there last night and he made this point about hope. Hope leads you to risk your life. Even when he worked in El Salvador in the 1980s and friends were kidnapped and murdered, they never gave up the fight. Losing someone you love forces you to hope that you can overthrow what is oppressing you. Hopelessness thrives when there is nothing to overcome and we fear losing what we have.