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Newsletters from the Parliament of Religions. 2011, Aug. Technology and the Interfaith Movement, and more...

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The Parliament Newsletter

Technology and the Interfaith Movement
by Lauren Santerre

Click here, copy-cut-paste, press the “like” button on Facebook. Chances are, you may know the reference for these short phrases. We have entered the technological revolution. Some of us have come along with angst, confusion and maybe even a bit of dread. Others of us choose to dive right in, so much so that we read every new article about the latest technology.

I probably fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum, realizing that to avoid technology is impractical, while striving not to lose valuable face-to-face time with family and friends. Regardless of where we may fall along the spectrum of technological acceptance, the new age of social media and visual communication may be used for enhancing the world in which we live, work, and play. This, to be sure, includes interfaith work. In addition to the power of connection, media images and stories have the power to teach us lessons. How many times has someone tried to explain a concept or idea, and you think to yourself, “Say what?” Perhaps frustrated or in his/her enthusiasm, the person draws you a picture or shows you an illustration and you say, “Oh I see.”

Click here to read the full article...

Vivekananda Speaks to Norway
by William Lesher
Chair Emeritus, CPWR Board of Trustees

The hearts and prayers of people of goodwill everywhere go out to the people of Norway and to the families of those killed and wounded in the recent bombing and senseless slaying of young people. It is especially painful when such tragic acts are in any way associated with misguided religious overtones.

The poignant words of Swami Vivekananda in his opening speech at the first Parliament in 1893 come readily to mind:

“Sectarian bigotry and its horrible descendent fanaticism have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent whole nations to despair.”

  New York Synagogue Restores Torah that Survived Confiscation by Nazis
by Philip Rosenbaum, Matthew Moskowitz and Jonathan O’Beirnefrom from CNN

Help wanted: Someone who can sit in one place for hours on end, has the hand-eye coordination of a brain surgeon, a yogi’s power of concentration, a linguist’s knack for languages – especially ancient Hebrew – and a monk’s ability to work alone in contemplative silence, all while avoiding impure thoughts.

The hypothetical job posting, which you’re not likely to see in the classifieds, is for a sofer, or Torah scribe.

Giving Voice to Wisdom and No Place for Hate
by Ralph Singh

Ten years ago, Gobind Sadan USA, a Sikh spiritual center north of Syracuse, was a victim of arson. It was the first attack on a place of worship following September 11th, and the first to come under Governor Pataki’s newly signed legislation against hate crimes.

  Faith Groups Call for Climate Justice in Africa
United Nations Environment Programme

NAIROBI - More than 130 faith leaders, including traditional leaders, mainly from Africa but also from Northern Europe and Asia gathered in Nairobi this week to reflect on the position of faith groups towards the environment and humanity, with a particular emphasis on climate change and its effects on Africa.

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Parliament Webinar Series
Learning from the
Egyptian Revolution

Ahmed Rehab Rescheduled! New Time:
August 10, 2011
10:00am U.S. Central Time 

Ahmed Rehab
Executive Director Register Now
Council on American-Islamic Relations

The Egyptian Revolution saw one of the largest and most comprehensive peaceful revolutions in history. 12 million people took to the streets in a period of 18 days to oust a 30 year autocratic president and a 60 year entrenched regime. Ahmed Rehab, who participated in the Tahrir Square movement, shares his first-hand account. Learn More...

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