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2012c, March, Newsletter from the Parliament of Religions.

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The Parliament Newsletter
20Interreligious students at RRCJewish-Christian Encounter Through Text:
an Interfaith Course for Seminarians

by Melissa Heller

What happens when rabbinical students partner with Protestant seminarians and commit to a sustained and in-depth study of biblical text?

A lot.

They seek commonality. They tell stories. They bring their vulnerabilities. They are offered a new lens through which to view their sacred texts. They are challenged to articulate their beliefs and explain aspects of their tradition to their study partners, often helping them to clarify their relationship to their own tradition, to their sacred literature and to God. As a semester progresses and trust develops, they share their challenges. They question their partners. They come to appreciate their differences, and to respect them.

As the interactions deepen between the pairs, and among the group, so too does understanding. What results is a broadening of their definitions of “Jew” and “Christian” to include nuance, narrative and diversity.

Click here to read the full article (pdf)

Does Religion Make You Healthier?
by Jaweed Kaleem

A new analysis of Gallup surveys of more than 676,000 Americans suggests more religious people may be healthier than less religious people—and the pattern stands across religious traditions.


American Dervish:
a conversation about love, identity and faith

by Naazish YarKhan

Ayad Akhtar’s American Dervish, set in pre–9/11 American suburbia, is a bold debut novel, where the author provides a more complex, nuanced picture of Muslim Americans.

  Sowing Seeds of Peace, from Virginia to Iraq
by Wayne Lavender

Soon after the tragic attacks on 11 September 2001, I left the church where I had been serving as the senior pastor for 12 years, sensing a call to work for peace and justice. I travelled up and down the east coast of the United States to speak about peace, reconciliation, conflict resolution and mediation wherever I could find an audience – churches, synagogues, civic organisations, schools and clubs.

I sought to offer and advocate for a different response from the United States than an escalation of violence – a response more true to the predominantly peaceful texts of the Abrahamic religions. I helped create coalitions of Jewish, Christian and Muslim clerics who were opposed to the war policies being pursued by the United States and who would use their authority to promote peace.

 Parliament Webinar Series
What Is My Responsibility for Peace in the World?
Five Steps towards a Peace Process

Alexandra Asseily   Tuesday, March 13, 2012
10:00am U.S. Central Time

with Alexandra Asseily
  Register Now

This webinar offers participants the opportunity to develop a greater awareness of our own responsibility for peace in our lives and to acquire more skills to apply around us.

The webinar will address our own responsibility for war and peace and the role forgiveness plays in releasing cycles of violence. Through personal reflection, we can experience those aspects of ourselves that are not fully contributing to peace and harmony and how to release and transform them through forgiveness. By doing so, we can also unblock the gifts we have inherited, in order to use them and appreciate them more fully in our lives. Learn More...

Memnosyne Interfaith Scholarship

Sponsored by the Memnosyne Foundation, the Memnosyne Interfaith Scholarship is designed to support a graduate student completing advanced research related to interfaith studies, relations and action.

Click here to learn more…

Latest from
State of Formation

Voices of Emerging Leaders

Culture Shock: Crunchy or Creamy?
by Saumya Arya Haas
  Saumya Arya Haas
The Times We Shouldn’t Defend Our Traditions
by Rebecca Levi
  Rebecca Levi
Ashes That Dare Us to Live
by Chris Hughes
  Chris Hughes
Culinary Pluralism; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Olive
by Jenn Lindsay
  Jenn Lindsay

Want to be a Contributing Scholar to State of Formation?
Click here to learn more
  Program Highlight:

Partner Cities Network

The Council has built relationships with over 70 cities around the world in the effort to build an enduring, multifaceted interreligious movement. Cities evaluate their interreligious landscape and achievements with the Council. Together, we help chart a course that will strengthen bonds between diverse religious and cultural communities, and prioritize each city’s projects for growth and action.

Your support of the Council brings people together to work for a better world. Make a gift today!

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