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Religions, Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2019)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Despite a growth in organized violence with Shia–Sunni dimensions over the last two decades, only [...] Read more. Despite a growth in organized violence with Shia–Sunni dimensions over the last two decades, only less than two percent of the interreligious peacemaking organizations in the world are specialized in dialogue between Shias and Sunnis. What explains this lack of institutionalized Shia–Sunni dialogue? This study discusses what we see as the three seemingly most obvious explanations—(1) the dismissal of the relevance of a Shia–Sunni cleavage, (2) the inappropriateness of the interreligious dialogue concept in the Muslim context, and (3) the substitution of institutional interreligious dialogue by other channels. Although we suggest that the third is the most potent explanation to pursue, we do not aim to provide a comprehensive explanation for the Shia–Sunni dialogue deficit. Instead, our aspiration is to present and substantiate a puzzle that has not been identified in previous research. View this paper