Friendship in the Presence of Difference - Study Guide

Members of the Women's Interfaith Network (WIN) receive a copy of the Study Guide. Members of the Women's Interfaith Network (WIN) receive a copy of the Study Guide.

A new Study Guide is now available for people to think about forging friendships with people of other faiths.

The Assembly Relations with Other Faiths Working Group has developed the resource based on the paper, Friendship in the Presence of Difference: Christian Witness in Multi-faith Australia, received at the 13th Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia in July 2012. 

In his introduction, ROF Convenor Michael Barnes says the intention of the Study Guide is to "open a conversation about the increasing religious diversity in Australia and how we understand our Christian identity in this context."

"It is also an opportunity to explore how we might respond to the use of violence or fear based on religious difference. As people of God, called to share in Christ’s love, the best way to overcome such messages of fear and hate is by building friendships with people of other faiths."

Thanks to Rev. Heather Griffin for developing the resource with the assistance of the Queensland Synod Interfaith Relations Committee and to Rev. Dr David Gill for his revision.

Below is the link to the Study Guide (at the bottom of the page) and a list of extra resources compiled for each chapter. 

Study One

Study One – Our Context

More Video:

Extra Activities:

  • Create a Group Agreement:
    Draw up a list of ideas that would help every member of your group feel included and heard. Have someone type up this list and circulate it to all members.
  • List of World Religions: Make a list of all the different living religions (not denominations) you know. Try to put the religions in order from greatest to least number of adherents world-wide, then try to put them in order from the oldest to the newest religion. Check your answers online.
  • Cultural Identity: Reflect on how much each of the following have helped shape who you are?
    • Career
    • Gender
    • Family background and family history
    • Cultural group to which you belong
    • Churches or other places of worship you’ve attended
    • Where you live
    • Interests e.g. sporting teams, favourite music
  • Play a game of Cultural Bingo
  • Discuss: The ad, titled “You Never Lamb Alone”, launched by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) generated controversy and outrage in the Hindu community because it featured Lord Ganesha, a revered Hindu deity, who is considered vegetarian by followers. Consider what it means to respect the values of other faiths in Australia today.