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Seminar 3:
The World's Living Faiths

In this seminar there will be a discussion of the creative ways of understanding the complexities of the world's living faiths and the challenge they present for a meaningful dialogue between religions and cultures. We will also address how dialogue between religions can offer interfaith insights into the following questions:

What gives rise to terrorism?
What is the relationship between terrorism and religion; between religious fundamentalism and terrorism?
What is the relationship between religion and secular ideologies against which terrorism rises?
Why is interfaith dialogue imperative in the face of religious fundamentalism and terrorism?
What do religions have to say about suffering?
What are the interfaith resources that can assist in dealing with suffering?

In this discussion, Dr Palapathwala will demonstrate that it is not the church's faith that is the stumbling block to interfaith dialogue. Rather, it is the prestigious position the church has held in shaping Western civilisation since about the third century, and the triumphalism it has come to assume across the globe since the European Enlightenment of the 18th century along with colonisation. Identifying these issues as the stumbling blocks to the Church to enter into a genuine interfaith dialogue with the world's living faith traditions, Dr Palapathwala invites and challenges the Church to disassociate itself from the past of Christendom without deserting the civilisation it has brought into being.

The global future of humanity and the world, he says, may depend on the Church's willingness to do this, and seek answers to difficult contemporary questions through dialogue with other religious traditions. These are the untraversed frontiers in Christian theology and interfaith dialogue.

Date Tuesday 8 May
Time 7.30 am - 9.30 pm
Venue St Peter's hall, Eastern Hill
Cost $15 (concession: $12)
Conductor Rev'd Dr Ruwan Palapathwala,
lecturer in Pastoral Theology at Trinity College Theological School, University of Melbourne, and in Asian Religions in the United Faculty of Theology.

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© 2007 The Institute for Spiritual Studies