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Msgr. Prof. Tomáš Halík is a Czech priest and philosopher who risked imprisonment for illegally advancing religious and cultural freedoms after the Soviet invasion of his country, and has become a leading international advocate for dialogue among different faiths and non-believers.

Halík spent nearly two decades building a secret network of academics, theologians, philosophers, and students dedicated to cultivating the intellectual and spiritual underpinnings which helped Czechoslovakia transition to democracy following the “Velvet Revolution” of 1989. Since then, he has advocated religious tolerance and understanding by sharing ideas and beliefs among followers of widely varying cultural and spiritual traditions and, notably, non-believers. His approaches to interfaith dialogue include proposing that the long intellectual tradition of Catholicism well positions it as a bridge among diverse Western secularism, traditional religions, and Islamic culture.

Answers without questions are like trees without roots. But how often are ‘Christian truths’ presented to us like felled, lifeless trees in which birds can no longer find a nest? Only the confrontation of questions and answers can return a real meaning and dynamic to our statements. Truth happens in the course of dialogue.