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2020 Peace conversation with Helen Clark

​2020 Peace conversation with Helen Clark

The Dunedin Abrahamic Interfaith Group and Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy have hosted annual peace lectures since 2004. The most recent one in September 2020 was with Helen Clark at Otago University. You can watch the video here. All the previous annual peace lectures are available on the Interfaith Group's website www.dunedininterfaith.net.nz.

The role of Mysticism in fostering Interfaith Dialogue and Tolerance

​The role of Mysticism in fostering Interfaith Dialogue and Tolerance

Philip Brown has recently published an online-article:  The Role of Mysticism in Fostering Interfaith Dialogue and Tolerance (see https://sheppartoninterfaith.org.au/?p=6218). He writes: "It is a condensed version of an essay I recently completed titled: Mysticism, the Perennial Philosophy and Interfaith Dialogue. As an independent researcher in the field of Contemplative Studies my sole purpose in writing these documents was the promotion of Interfaith dialogue and tolerance. Feedback from those who kindly undertook to read drafts of the essay have been positive without exception. For example, I received very positive feedback from the following academics in the field of religious studies:  
•    Dr Dana Sawyer (Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Maine College of Art, Portland, Maine, USA; Biographer of Huston Smith and Aldous Huxley).
•    Dr Gerard Hall, (Honorary Associate Professor and former Head of the School of Theology at the Australian Catholic University in Brisbane, Australia).
•    Dr Bet Green (Senior Lecturer in Theology at the Australian Catholic University in Brisbane, Australia)."

The full version of the essay is available here.

Interfaith Prayer Initiative at Hamilton City Council meetings

​Interfaith Prayer Initiative at Hamilton City Council meetings

HamiltonCityCouncilPrayers.jpg

The new Mayor, Paula Southgate, has allowed the Waikato Interfaith Council to reinstitute Interfaith prayers at the start of the Community Committee meetings of the Hamilton City Council. These began on 17 November 2020, after a long absence, with an interfaith prayer read by WIFCO President Rev Andrew McKean, supported by members of the Waikato Interfaith Council (representing our Bahá’í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh communities) and two waiata sung by the Waikato Interfaith Choir: Te Aroha and A Song of Peace. This initiative will continue on in 2021 with rotating karakia/prayers/songs/poems/readings/silent meditation and thoughts on good governance from amongst our wide variety of faith and belief communities here in the Waikato. Our humanist and secular groups will also be represented. We hope that this initiative will stay with us well into the future.

Celebrating the Temple of Understanding's 60th Anniversary

​Celebrating the Temple of Understanding's 60th Anniversary

FORUM2020: Science, Spirituality, the Climate Emergency and Our Future & Global Interfaith Prayer Service for the Earth

Proudly presented by the Temple of Understanding in collaboration with Marble Collegiate Church, New York City

World religious and spiritual visionaries, Indigenous leaders, scientists, and youth environmental activists come together to address the urgency of the climate crisis with strategies for inspired collective action. 

Over forty international speakers will be offering their wisdom and perspectives through keynote addresses, diverse panels, inspiring prayers and sacred music.

Free Online Events Oct 16 & 17, 2020

More information and registration here: https://templeofunderstanding.org/  

New report reveals teaching religion in our schools reduces extremism

​New report reveals teaching religion in our schools reduces extremism

Religious Education in schools can strengthen multi-culturalism and reduce extremism in our wider communities, according to a new report.

The report found schools offering Special Religious Education (SRE), Religious Instruction (RI) and General Religious Education (GRE) were ideal settings "for children to develop an understanding of peace and tolerance.” The goal of teaching students how to live harmoniously with others in a contemporary and diverse society is a pillar of modern education, said the report. "Multicultural education is a key instrument in achieving social cohesion.” 

The report was written by world-renowned academics Professor Zehavit Gross (the UNESCO/Burg Chair in Education in Human Values, Tolerance and Peace at Bar-Ilan University, Israel) and Professor Emerita Suzanne Rutland, of the University of Sydney. 
The report highlighted the recent mass shootings in New Zealand, suicide bombings in Sri Lanka and the San Diego synagogue shooting as potential topics of discussion among students. For example, religious education teachers could discuss the fear and concern which affected Muslim, Christian and Jewish students in Australia, the report found. Removing in-faith education from government schools detracts from the government's multicultural aims by denying students a crucial avenue to explore their own religious identity and heritage. The report found SRE and GRE played a key role in dismantling stereotypes and strengthening social cohesion. Professor Gross said the belief that religion is irrelevant in a postmodern world is a myth. "Religion continues to play a major role in our public life and acknowledges the legitimate spiritual needs of each individual." Professor Rutland said religious belief and spirituality provide students with an anchor for their individual identities and contribute meaning to their lives. A strong grounding in one's individual identity, combined with knowledge of other religions, helps to combat extremism by teaching respect for diversity. Christian SRE CEO Murray Norman said it was vital students were provided with a safe place to explore their religious identities.

August 22, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk