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'Religious Fundamentalism and Extremism' a special lecture by Professor Douglas Pratt - 7:00pm Monday 26 June

'Religious Fundamentalism and Extremism' a special lecture by Professor Douglas Pratt of the University of Waikato - 7:00pm Monday 26 June

The Religious Diversity Centre announces a special lecture this Monday: 'Religious Fundamentalism and Extremism' by Professor Douglas Pratt of the University of Waikato.

Date: Monday 26 June 2017 Venue: University of Otago House at 385 Queen Street, Auckland, ground floor.

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. $10. Koha (cheques payable to Religious Diversity Centre Trust)

Please RSVP to religiousdiversitytrust@gmail.com if you will be attending. Free parking is available downstairs in the numbered parks but only numbers 9 to 30 and also the Wilsons carparks (free in the evening). Then walk outside to the main doorway on Queen Street and ring the bell.

Auckland Inter-Faith Council (AIFC) AGM - 7:30pm Thursday 6 July 2017

Auckland Inter-Faith Council (AIFC) AGM - 7:30pm Thursday 6 July 2017

Following the AGM, there will be breakout group discussions about the work of AIFC to further interfaith understanding in the greater Auckland region.
VENUE:  24 St Stephens Avenue, Parnell
(parking available in adjacent vacant lot and on the road).
TIME:   7:30 pm – 8:00 pm  AGM*
             8:00 – coffee, tea and light refreshments served
             8:15 – 9:00 Breakout group discussions
   All are welcome and there is no charge to attend the meeting. 
Reminder: Annual Membership subscription of $20. per person is due for renewal (payable by cash, cheque, or Direct Credit to ASB 12-3051-0391340-00, Reference your surname and first initial.)
* Includes : Annual Reports from the President and the Treasurer;
                  Election of the Executive;
                  General Business.
Notes re Election of the Committee:  
The term of office is for one year, with out-going Committee members able to run for re-election. To request a Nomination Form and Guidelines for Nominees please email (nzaifc@gmail.com). Nomination forms must be completed and received by the Acting Secretary (nzaifc@gmail.combefore the 22nd of July 2017  to be considered. We are also looking for someone who can take on the role of Secretary.

Nelson Tasman Interfaith Council re-established

​Nelson Tasman Interfaith Council re-established

Nelson_Tasman_Interfaith_Council_May2017.jpg

Representatives from many faith groups in the Nelson and Tasman areas met in May to re-establish their interfaith council. As you can see from the picture there has been a great response and there is keeness to reach out to youth and all the region's faith groups.

The first meeting was initiated by Lovey Geiger from the Latter-day Saints in Nelson, who provided the venue for the first meeting. Lovey said the goals of the council were to come together, understand and respect each other. "We all have common goals, like we want to see our people healthy and in good homes. We need to come together and identify common goals we can try and resolve." Tania Torea from the Latter-day Saints in Wellington and an executive member of the Wellington Inter-Faith Council was at the first meeting to share experiences from other interfaith councils around the country.

The next meeting of the council is on 6 June 2017 at the NMIT Richmond Campus from 6:30pm to 8.00 pm. The council acknowledges the support of the CEO of the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology for offering the use of the campus for meetings. 

Anyone interested in joining or wanting more information about the council can contact Reverend David Poultney on 03 548 0558.

Interfaith meditation exercises - free online

Interfaith meditation exercises - free online

Scarboro Missions Interfaith Dept has published a resource containing 21 do-it-yourself meditation activities featuring texts of the Golden Rule from various religions. These contemplative exercsies can be used with individuals or groups. Here is the link:  http://www.scarboromissions.ca/golden-rule/golden-rule-meditation-exercises

Celebrate an Interfaith Ramadan through Stories of Service, Gratitude and Community

​Celebrate an Interfaith Ramadan through Stories of Service, Gratitude and Community

The Parliament of the World's Religions wishes Muslim siblings around the globe a blessed time of worship, reflection, and community during Ramadan. They are running a series of blog posts throughout Ramadan so that Muslim and non-Muslim leaders can share reflections about how they are building solidarity along lines of division and connecting with the values of Ramadan.

Ramadan offers a time for Muslims to reflect on what the values of gratitude, service, and community mean to them. It is also a time of intentional, heightened solidarity between Muslims and their neighbors across the spectrum of faith, philosophical, and ethical traditions. Muslim and non-Muslim communities alike are increasingly partnering together and utilising Ramadan as an important touchstone for interfaith engagement through iftars, community events, and other outreach activities.

The blog can be found here.

Toronto, Canada Named Host of the 7th Parliament of the World's Religions in November 2018

​Toronto, Canada Named Host of the 7th Parliament of the World's Religions in November 2018

Toronto - acclaimed the most diverse city in the world and home to six million Canadians - has been chosen as the host city of the 7th Parliament of the World’s Religions, to be convened from 1 to 7 November 2018.

More than 10,000 people will participate in the 2018 Parliament, which will last for seven days and comprise more than 500 programs, workshops, and dialogues, alongside music, dance, art and photography exhibitions, and related events presented by the world’s religious communities and cultural institutions.

Since the historic 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago, modern Parliaments have attracted participants from more than 200 diverse religious, indigenous, and secular beliefs and more than 80 nations to its international gatherings in Chicago (1993), Cape Town (1999), Barcelona (2004), Melbourne (2009), and Salt Lake City (2015). These Parliament events are the world’s oldest, largest, and most inclusive gatherings of the global interfaith movement. Professor Mark Toulouse, Co-Chair of the host committee, believes that “the selection of Toronto was a perfect match for the Parliament.”

More information is available here

Discovering Religious Diversity - a study programme organised by the Religious Diversity Centre - Auckland and Hamilton

Discovering Religious Diversity - a study programme organised by the Religious Diversity Centre - Auckland and Hamilton

The Religious Diversity Centre is pleased to announce its continuing series of classes entitled “Discovering Religious Diversity” in Auckland (Monday evenings) and in Hamilton (Thursday evenings) during each of the four school terms throughout the year. Each Term in 2017 has a different focus and covers different material. Terms 1 and 2 focus on Selected Topics in the Contemporary Practice of each of the major world religions, with each class focused on how each religion approaches the particular topic of the evening. Term 2 topics include: Food & Ritual, Birth and Coming of Age Ceremonies, Marriage, Sacred Journeys and Pilgrimage, Asceticism and Renunciation, Esoteric Traditions, Religious Fundamentalism and Extremism, and Death and Dying. Terms 3 and 4 will focus on the history and development of the world’s main faith traditions, with Term 3 focusing on the Eastern religious traditions and Term 4 on the Western religions. Any Term can be taken independently of the others, and there are no prerequisites for any of the Term courses. Auckland classes are offered at the Religious Diversity Centre, 385 Queen Street (parking available) and begin on Monday 8 May 2017 and run through Monday 26 June. Hamilton classes begin Thursday 11 May and run through Thursday 29 June 2017 and are held by Fraser High School’s Adult and Community Education programme. Details on both classes, including registration information, can be found at the RDC’s web site <www.rdc.org.nz/courses>. All classes are led by Dr. Todd Nachowitz, Religious Studies lecturer at the University of Waikato, and the Centre Establishment Coordinator of the Religious Diversity Centre. 

A flyer is available here. We’ve plans to expand our offerings in the future to other cities and locations in Aotearoa.
Spirit Possession: Global and Multidisciplinary Perspectives - conference at the University of Auckland, 6-8 July

​Spirit Possession: Global and Multidisciplinary Perspectives - conference at the University of Auckland, 6-8 July

On 6-8 July 2017 the George Sainsbury Foundation together with the Programme in Theological and Religious Studies at the University of Auckland are the conference Spirit Possession: Global and Multidisciplinary Perspectives.

The conference brings together thirteen international and New Zealand speakers who will address the subject of spirit possession from a range of disciplinary perspectives including  psychiatry, linguistics, anthropology, philosophy and law.

The conference is also open to participants from interested public bodies such as government and public agencies and religious communities who find themselves dealing with claims of spirit possession in our increasingly plural society.

Registration is free for up to 60 participants.

More information is available here and a poster here.

2018 National Interfaith Forum to be held in Christchurch from 23 to 25 March

2018 National Interfaith Forum to be held in Christchurch from 23 to 25 March

The Canterbury Interfaith Society is pleased to announced the date of the 2018 National Interfaith Forum.

Finding a free weekend proves quite difficult, and trying to take into consideration the request to have it during a warmer time of the year and not to have it at the end of Feb., which is difficult for some, we have decided upon this date. It is however, Palm Sunday on the 25th and we will make allowances for this and may even make it an optional part of the forum for attendees to take part in this Christian service.

More information to follow