Archives for the ‘ Interfaith ’ Category

Faith and Science

By • Jul 23rd, 2015 • Category: Interfaith, Lectures

Science and religion are two powerful forces that have shaped our civilization. In pre-modern era, the province of religion used to be much bigger than today; it reached into the law, government, arts and sciences. Overtime, the ‘legitimate’ and ‘acceptable’ domain of religion shrunk considerably as modernity set in, and ‘specialization’ became a dominant theme in social organization. Yet to this day, religion and science interact in our daily life- and sometimes they collide. So the question is: what is the nature of the relationship between religion and science? Are they destined to negate each other? How can these two powerful forces live side by side in peace?

Pitfalls of Religious Life

By • May 28th, 2014 • Category: Interfaith, Lectures

Religion has been a major force shaping human history. It survived the Age of Reason, Enlightenment and Modernity. And by all accounts, it is still quite pervasive in the personal, social and political life of the contemporary world. Even though authentic religion is a force for compassion and justice, religious life is not without peril or pitfalls. It can make people intolerant, violent and full of prejudice. In this lecture, we will explore a few pitfalls of religious life.

Faith And Social Activism

By • Aug 24th, 2013 • Category: Interfaith, Lectures

Religion has been a powerful force shaping the human history. However, the social impact of world religions has not been uniform. At times, world religions have been a force in the service of compassion, peace, justice and equality; while at other times, they have promoted hatred, fanaticism, discrimination and naked brutality.

Unfortunately today, religion is increasingly becoming a destabilizing force in the life of many nations- and in the international scene. For the sake of world peace and prosperity, it is important to remind ourselves what the founders of world religions aspired to promote in human life, something the Dalai Lama so eloquently summed up: ‘the whole purpose of religion is to facilitate love and compassion, patience, tolerance, humility and forgiveness.”

In this lecture, we will explore the founding principles of world religions, and the challenges facing them in the modern times.

Salvation: One or Many Paths to God?

By • Apr 12th, 2013 • Category: Interfaith, Lectures

At some point, every person of faith will ask herself: Is my religion the best and truest? Does my religion provide the only valid path to God? How should I view other religions? Are they completely false, partly true or perhaps different but equally valid for their followers? While it is true that most people around the world tend to view their own religion as better and superior, there are practically 3 distinct views on the preceding questions: exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism. These viewpoints have adherents in all world religions. Hence, there are Jews, Muslims and Christians who believe that salvation is exclusively available only in their own community, just as there are Jews, Muslims and Christians who reject this notion all-together. Instead, they argue that the observable fruits of faith and spirituality are spread more or less evenly among different cultures and religions. This lecture explores religious exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism, and offers examples from the Muslim community.