Yes, conversation is possible even with those persons, religious or otherwise, who believe that they have a monopoly on the truth.These conversations would be difficult, but the potential reward great.
This is so because serious conversation always provides the opportunity to enter into another’s world, and to glimpse from that other perspective the one truth to which we all seek to respond.
The difficulty of such conversations is that when a person is convinced that they, and they alone, possess the truth, they effectively isolate themselves. This insulating layer of self-certainty cuts them off from real conversation and the potential which it always holds out.
However, there is an antidote, a way forward, and that way forward is courage. Any person who truly believes that they have a monopoly on the truth can be challenged to find the courage to share that truth with another, in respectful conversation. In that process of conversation the possibility of mutual engagement is always present. It is that mutual engagement that holds the promise of people meeting as human beings who share in a desire to find the truth that we all seek.
My optimism that such conversation has rich potential is based upon my conviction that the struggle for the truth, toward which all people are drawn, is not a matter of possessing a correct idea. The struggle is, rather, to find the courage to yield ourselves to the encounter of truth as a living reality, a living reality that is beyond us but lays claim upon us. It is in the embrace of that living truth that we discover in ourselves and all creation. That is the truth that invites us to find our life in all its infinite recesses.