Aired 23 February 2021 – 5:00 PM EDT
An Interview with Charles Randall Paul, President of Foundation for Inter-Religious Diplomacy
“Truth lives in our hearts, beliefs lie in our heads.” — Swami Beyondananda
One of the big problems with finding a commonly-sensed common sense consensus among citizens across the political spectrum is that … well, we disagree. And these days, different political narratives mean different realities. On last week’s show, we featured the new documentary, “The Reunited States of America,” and how respectful, face-to-face, heart-to-heart communication can rehumanize the “other” and affirm “beloved community.”
And then what?
Do we pretend we don’t disagree on fundamental issues and worldviews? Do we dance around these profound differences, or is there another way? Last summer, I interviewed two thirds of a trio looking to create breakthrough in this regard. Arthur Pena and Jacob Hess are two close friends coming from completely different worldviews. Jacob is a conservative member of the Latter Day Saints. Arthur characterizes himself as a “gay, libertarian, Marxist.”
Our guest this week, Charles Randall Paul, is co-authoring a book with Arthur and Jacob, Inevitable Influencers: Why (deep down) We All Want—and Need—to Persuade Each Other of What We See as Good, Beautiful, and True.
All three of these gentlemen believe in the seemingly paradoxical “peaceful tension” that can be created when our hearts are unified in the field of love and coherence, while our beliefs might be totally contradictory. Randall Paul seeks to turn our dueling dualities into dynamic duo dance partners, or as he calls them, “trustworthy rivals, not coercive enemies.”
Randall Paul, Ph.D., is the president of the Foundation for Inter-Religious Diplomacy. A native of New Jersey, he has a BS from Brigham Young University in social psychology and an MBA from Harvard University. He worked as a business partner at Trammell Crow Company in the southwestern USA, where he developed many commercial real estate projects for sixteen years. He then obtained a doctorate in 2000 at the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, writing his dissertation on methods for engaging in religious conflict without acrimony or violence. He is on the executive board of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology, and is an editor of the International Journal for Decision Ethics. Having served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in France and Belgium, he has held numerous callings since, including service as a bishop.
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You can find out more about Religious Diplomacy here.