World Parliament of Religions in Barcelona

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by arthra, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Here's a Baha'i news story about the World Parliament of Religions in Barcelona:

    Excepted from the article:

    "Moojan Momen, a Baha'i scholar of the United Kingdom, who gave a well-attended talk at the Parliament on "The Baha'i Theological Basis of Interreligious Dialogue," said that Baha'is are able to contribute particularly well to interfaith dialogue because of a belief system that defuses those elements of religion that tend to produce conflict.

    "In speeches and discussions, religious leaders and activists from virtually every religious tradition repeatedly called for tolerance, and recognition of human interdependence and the common spirit in all religions.

    "We need a new global spirituality that affirms the unity of all being, that affirms the interconnectedness of all, and affirms a new bottom line of love, caring, and generosity," said Rabbi Michael Learner, a noted Jewish author, in a panel discussion entitled "The Battle for God."

    Taking the theme "Pathways to Peace," the 2004 Parliament was organized by three entities: the Chicago-based Council for the Parliament of the World's Religions, the UNESCO Centre of Catalonia, and the Forum Barcelona 2004.

    Open to religious leaders and lay people alike, the event involved more then 400 workshops, panel discussions, and artistic presentations. The overall focus was on promoting interreligious dialog.

    Source:

    http://www.bahaiworldnews.org/story.cfm?storyid=310

    - Art
     
  2. PrimaVera

    PrimaVera Well-Known Member

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    Art,

    I wonder how much of Momen's talk was based on the Universal House of Justice's letter to the world's religious leaders.

    Speaking of which, since I'm new hear, has anyone posted either a link to that message and/or discussed portions of it in any of the forums here?
     
  3. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Letter of April 2002 from the House of Justice

    Hi Rick...

    No I don't think there's been a link to that Letter of April 2002 . It was well publicised and received though locally in my area and presented to the Inter-faith Council where I live..Here is a link:

    http://bahai-library.com/published.uhj/religious.leaders.html

    A summary at the conclusion of the Letter reads:

    "With every day that passes, danger grows that the rising fires of religious prejudice will ignite a worldwide conflagration the consequences of which are unthinkable. Such a danger civil government, unaided, cannot overcome. Nor should we delude ourselves that appeals for mutual tolerance can alone hope to extinguish animosities that claim to possess Divine sanction. The crisis calls on religious leadership for a break with the past as decisive as those that opened the way for society to address equally corrosive prejudices of race, gender and nation. Whatever justification exists for exercising influence in matters of conscience lies in serving the well-being of humankind..."

    - Art
     
  4. PrimaVera

    PrimaVera Well-Known Member

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    Re: Letter of April 2002 from the House of Justice

    Art,

    Thanks for the reply. That letter certainly has implications for interfaith dialogue, but I think it might also have implications for comparing various religious beliefs. In particular, an abandoment of any claims of "privileged access to truth" strikes me a prerequesite to any value-neutral comparison of the various religions.

    This has implications for all of us, including Baha'is. The geometry analogy I posted in another thread seems apropos. We don't debate the relative merits of plane geometry vs spherical geometry despite the fact that neither can be true so long as we hold the other to be true. Indeed, I would hope that one of the outcomes of comparative religion is the realization that nearly all religions are true in one sense or another, and that none, including the Baha'i Faith, can claim any form of privilege over the others in terms of the truths it enshrines.

    I'm interested in hearing what others, particularly those who aren't Baha'is, what they think of this notion of abandoning any claim to privileged access to truth as it pertains to comparative religions.
     
  5. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    It was mentioned somewhere in the interfaith section but didn't seem to draw much commentary as I recall.
     
  6. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Re: Letter of April 2002 from the House of Justice

    I agree it's a good idea - as a general point it doesn't mean that somebody has to deny their own faith - simply respect the differing views of other people as valid in their own right.
     
  7. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    Re: Letter of April 2002 from the House of Justice

    And those two positions come into conflict exactly where one's respect and freindship for another is juxtaposed with explicit references in the scripture of one Faith speaking of the teachings current in another. Some attempt to resolve this by going to either extreme. I find no rest between them for neither can survive without the other. I find a way out and hope it is heard. Of course not everything needs to be said every single time something is mentioned, but where to draw that line can get caught in the same quandry.
     

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