Pilgrimage Theology and Interreligious Dialogue: Exploring Divine Presence in Shi'i Visitation Prayers

Document Type : Original Research Article


Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Religion, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, USA


Exploring the foundations for interreligious understanding raises pivotal questions: What underlies creating a common spiritual language among followers of diverse religions? How do rituals like visitation and pilgrimage transcend doctrinal differences to foster a shared experience of the sacred? The exploration of divine presence in Shīʻī Islam, paralleled with Catholic and Jewish narratives, underscores visitation and pilgrimage as pivotal for fostering interreligious dialogue. This study illuminates how these practices serve as a universal spiritual language, transcending theological differences and facilitating a profound connection across diverse faiths. By examining the concept of presence—God's omnipresence, the sacredness derived from divine relationship, and the mediating role of Imams and saints—this research highlights the common spiritual ground found in the ritualistic foundations of Abrahamic traditions. The detailed analysis of Shīʻī visitation prayers reveals an inclusive approach to prophetic history, portraying Islam's essence of universality and promoting a deeper, empathetic dialogue among different religious communities. Through genuine engagement with the concept of presence, this paper advocates for a shared platform of understanding, emphasizing spiritual experiences over doctrinal divergences and enhancing mutual appreciation among varied faiths.


Main Subjects

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