Conversation is a process whereby we encounter others in a mutual search for what is true.

Conversation requires a willingness and ability:

  • to listen at depth for what is happening within me and between us;
  • to refrain from pre-empting the outcome;
  • to be transformed through this encounter with the other.

Conversation is much more than mere talk or discussion or debate or argument.

Conversation is at its best when the participants are together actively seeking to submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

A spirituality of conversation will emerge for participants as they give themselves to the process of conversation.


Synodality and conversation

Michael Whelan SM, Ways of Knowing: Clearing the Ground for Good Conversation,  Paper presented at the International Philosophy, Science and Theology Festival held
in Grafton, NSW, Thursday June 21, 2007.   [Access]

Michael Whelan SM, Passionate about the process, detached about the outcome,  in Michael Whelan (ed), Issues for Church and Society in Australia, St Pauls, 2006. [Access]

Michael Whelan SM, Synodality and conversation, Presentation to Sydney City Deanery Meeting, December 2022.  [Access]

Appendix to the above.  [Access]

Conversation in Practice

Conversation: A Reflection in Aid of Understanding the Gift, Michael Whelan SM  [Access]

Some guidelines for good conversation [Access]