The third in a series of dialogs on various aspects of religious faith will take place Sunday afternoon, March 8 from 2 to 5 pm at the Tsukuba Information Center (3F). The topic of this dialog is: "Why should people believe in any religion at all?" Each religious tradition will present its understanding of why religious faith is important.
In a pluralistic world of competing ideas and interests, one major source of strife has been ethnic/cultural intolerance (often viewed in terms of religious intolerance). One prerequisite for moving beyond such strife is coming to a mutual understanding of the beliefs and world views of persons from differing religious and cultural backgrounds. As a small beginning towards that lofty goal, representatives of Buddhism, Christianity and Islam will present their understanding of the importance and relevance of faith. If adherents to other religious or philosophical persuasions would like to join in making similar presentations, they are welcome.
The format will be that of a 10-20 minute presentation by a representative of each faith tradition to be followed by questions and answers. There will also be a welcoming address along with closing comments followed by a period of informal discussion around light refreshments.
The purpose of this exercise is simply to try to understand each tradition's concepts without arguing against them. Thus, this is not to be a debate trying to prove beliefs other than one's own to be wrong. The purpose is to present in an understandable way the conceptual basis for each tradition and to hopefully remove at least a few of the misperceptions many people have towards faith traditions other than their own. Likewise, questions from the audience must be non-confrontational in tone and designed to elicit information and clarification, not debate. Plans are to repeat this dialog in the future on other aspects of faith understanding. The first topic dealt with how each faith tradition understands the concept of God or deity, while the second focused on the purpose of human existence. Others topics that have been suggested for future dialogs include the origin of evil and suffering and the status and role of men and women. Other suggestions for topics are welcomed, all with the view of better understanding each religious tradition in its own context. For further information, call Tariq at 59-0838 or Tim at 55-1907.
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