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Interfaith Dialog Series: Purpose Of Human Existence

Author: Author unknown, Issue: November 1997, Topic: Events

The second interfaith dialog will be held Nov. 9 from 2 p.m. at the Tsukuba Information Center (3F). The theme of this dialog will be what each faith tradition understands as the purpose (or lack thereof) of human existence. Why does the universe exist? Why do we exist? Is there a purpose in and behind the flow of history? Is there a goal of history? These will be among the questions that will be addressed by representatives of several faith traditions. At press time, representatives of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Taoism have indicated their interest in participation. If persons with other perspectives on the topic would be interested in making a presentation, they are encouraged to do so.

The first dialog was held in March 1996 around the theme of how each participating tradition understands God or deity, however that concept is defined. Approximately 100 people attended. The basic ground rule of this format is that it is not to be a debate. Each presenter simply presents how he or she understands their own faith tradition's position on the topic at hand and then questions from the audience are allowed for clarification purposes only. In other words, the purpose of this exercise is simply to understand what belief systems different from one's own actually believe, as described in their own words and not by the perceptions of outsiders.

There are, of course, somewhat different understandings within each major group, and if members of a different sect within a particular faith tradition wish to point out significant differences in their understanding from that which the speaker presented, that is also welcomed. Any such statements must, of course, be non-confrontational and designed simply to inform the audience of a significant difference concerning the topic at hand within that particular faith tradition.

For further information call Tariq at 59-0838 or Tim at 55-1907.

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