Volume 4 Issue 2 Fall 2018

S p i r i t ua l i t y S t u d i e s 4 - 2 Fa l l 2 0 1 8 3 Martin Dojčár During my residency at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research at Saint John’s University, MN, USA, I had the privilege to interview William Skudlarek, Benedictine monk of Saint John’s Abbey and Secretary General of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (DIM·MID), the world’s leading institutional interfaith dialogue promoter. Here is the record of our dialogue on dialogue and spirituality. 1 Interconnection Framework As a Benedictine monk, you are a part of a spiritual tradition that goes back to the sixth century AD and Saint Benedict. Moreover, Saint Benedict based his monastic lifestyle on the previous tradition of monasticism reaching back to its very beginnings in the second and third centuries AD. The only text attributed to him, the legendaryRegula Benedicti, was partly composed of several previous monastic sources, such as Regula Magistri and others. You are thus well aware of the fact that throughout the history spiritual traditions had being entering into mutual interactions and influenced one another either explicitly or implicitly. There are also other factors of cultural, social, economic, and political nature that could cause – to some extent – moments of transformation within a particular tradition. Benedictines are not an exception and a long history of the Benedictine Order provides a historian with a bunch of examples of such transformational moments. The ideas of mutual interconnection and mutual interference between various spiritual traditions have significant consequences for theologies of religions and interreligious dialogue. This is also the framework I would like to place into our conversation today. Fr. William Skudlarek, OSB, Ph.D., is monk of Saint John’s Abbey, MN, USA, and Secretary General of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (DIM·MID). He also serves as Associate Editor of Dilatato Corde, an international journal devoted to the dialogue of religious experience and practice. He is available at wskudlarek@csbsju.edu. About the author Doc. PaedDr. Martin Dojčár, PhD., is professor of religious studies at Trnava University, Slovakia, specializing in spirituality and interreligious dialogue. He is the author of an inspiring bookSelf-Transcendence and Prosociality and Editor-in-Chief of the Spirituality Studies Journal. His email is dojcar@gmail.com.