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Catholic Lawyer



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Jewish lawyers, religious lawyers, William Stringfellow, interfaith dialogue


As the religious lawyering movement expands, so too will the opportunities for interfaith conversations about lawyering. At the level of superficial pleasantries, these conversations will probably add warm feelings of camraderie but little else. When they advance to deeper levels of intellectual and emotional connection, they offer the potential for developing close friendships, learning significant new insights, and discovering hurtful differences. Only by risking the pain of such conversations can we gain the full benefit of interfaith conversation for enriching our "zest for spiritual living." This essay will employ the writings of William Stringfellow, a Christian lawyer and theologian, to illustrate these opportunities and challenges. Stringfellow forces us to confront the sometimes uncomfortable aspects of interfaith conversation. In expressing his commitment to love for all peo- ple, he used language considered insensitive or anti-semitic. His unwillingness to avoid unpleasant truths reminds us of the difficulty of genuine and substantial communication across different religious perspectives. At the same time, the intellectual and spiritual inspiration he provides underscore how rewarding that effort can be.