Archive for August, 2008

Religious Leaders Calls for Peace in South Ossetia

August 15, 2008

The patriarchs of the Russian and Georgian Orthodox churches have issued calls for peace as military conflict between Russia and Georgia over the pro-Russian separatist enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia escalated into the first war between countries with Orthodox Christian majorities in modern history. Also the Coordinating Centre of the Muslims of the North Caucasus expressed its concerns about the armed hostilities under way in South Ossetia in a statement signed by the Centre’s president, Ismail Berdiyev.

Read more at:

New website on Religion and Ethics in War and Peace-making

August 15, 2008

I have just put up a website for the Programme on Religion and Ethics in War and Peace-Making I am running, based at St Edmunds College,
Cambridge –

Dr. George R. Wilkes
Fellow, St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge

NAINConnect 2008 was a success

August 12, 2008
Nahid Angha, Rita Semel, Grace O’Brian, and Tarunjit Singh Butalia (moderator)

Nahid Angha, Rita Semel, Grace O’Brian, and Tarunjit Singh Butalia (moderator)

We left our hearts in San Francisco!

This 20th anniversary Connect drew about 150 registrants Eighty presenters informed three dozen workshops, four assemblies, and early morning/late evening meditation sessions. (Workshop descriptions, many with blogs attached, are still accessible at

Our annual Meeting featured the election of the new Board, the passing of the baton from retiring Chair Mike Goggin to current Chair Bettina Gray, and the welcoming of new member organizations. Next year’s Connect, to be held in Kansas City, Missouri, next June was previewed by Susan Cook and Peter Laurence.

An initial banquet celebrated the 20th anniversary of NAIN. An optional evening cruise on the Bay and a morning tour of Muir Woods added to the color of our setting. A final banquet honored Huston Smith.

See you next year in Kansas City!

The Lambeth Conference

August 12, 2008

Anglican bishops at the Lambeth conference affirmed the importance of interfaith dialogue


        ‘Making space in our hearts for one another’

Here are some of the bishops’ reflections:
We recognise that we live today in a world where many faiths live side by side. We encounter each other on a daily basis and as neighbours are drawn into dialogue together.
Such dialogue, in truth, arises from our love and concern for all humanity, who like us are created in the image and likeness of God. (85)

The good news we share is of a God who loves all, who invites them into the fellowship of his Spirit and the grace-filled embrace of his Son Jesus Christ. In our relations with those of other faiths we are committed to honour other people’s humanity, to serve them and to show them Christ. Our meeting together with those of other faiths is often spoken of as dialogue. Dialogue comes from the Greek and means literally through word(s), and for Christians the Greek word logos is also the word used in John’s Gospel for Jesus, the Word of God.
The purpose of dialogue is not compromise, but growth in trust and understanding of each other’s faith and traditions. Effective and meaningful dia logue will only take place where there is gentleness,honesty and integ rity. In all of this,we affirm that Christianity needs to be lived and presented as “a way of life” rather than a static set of beliefs. (89)


Perhaps there are situations where the word conversation is a more appro priate word than dialogue, and it is clear that hospitality is a key principle for dialogue. As one bishop said, 

“dialogue can break down, but hospitality will not.” We need to learn the Benedictine principle of hospitality, which is about relation ships — making space in our hearts for one another. (90)

We honour the special relationship we have, as Christians, with the Jewish com munity. It was a delight and honour for the Conference to be ad dressed by Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. . . We renew our commitment to on-going dialogue and genuine friendship with the Jewish People. (91)
We urge local Churches to contextualise their faith in such a way that Christianity is no longer seen as a western faith, especially in minor ty settings. This is particularly important in the light of the “war on terror”. (94)

. . . We recognise the human right of individuals to convert from one faith to another. (95)


Extracts from Lambeth Indaba


August 12, 2008
Dialogue Among Faiths Communities By Lucien Cosijns, with a Foreword by Marcus Braybrooke, contains much useful information, including documents and address of many interfaith groups.
It is published by Hamilton Books, a member of the Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group  ISBN 13: 978-0-7618-4085-5

Week of Prayer for World Peace

August 6, 2008

Week of Prayer for World Peace Logo19th – 26th October 2008 

An inter faith gathering of prayer for peace
will be hosted by The Quakers and held at 

Friends House 


173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ
on Sunday 19th October 2008 at 3 p.m.

Friends House is opposite Euston Station. You can use Euston underground and buses run both directions on Euston Road.

Leaflets for the Week of Prayer for World Peace, which includes readings and prayers from the World Religions are now available from  Mrs Lesley Daisley, 11 Montrose Ave, Queens Park, London NW5 6LE Tel 0208 968 4340

Help protect one million families from malaria

August 2, 2008


Help to buy 1,000,000 bednets to protect one million families from malaria.
One net costs £5 or $10
Support the Blair Foundation appeal by going to
*    *    *
Three Faiths Forum
Please visit our new website at
*    *    *
 The Archbishop of Canterbury has replied to the letter ‘A Common Word between us and you’, wriiten last year by over 100 Mulsim scholars
His reply can be found on his website ‘A Common Word’ can be found at


August 2, 2008


Interreligious Insight July 2008
The new edition contains an important article by Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire on ‘The Real Threats to World Peace’  anda copy of the ‘Charter for a World Without Violence,’ which was signed at the 8th Annual Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.
There are also articles by Anantanand Rambachan, Randall s Rosenberg, and Elizabeth Harris and other writers
To subscribe on line go to
Just Commentary from International Movement for a Just World  July 2008
Articles by Walden Bello on ‘Destroting African Agriculture’ and by Ronnie Cummins on ‘The Food, Climate and Energy Crisis: From Panic to Organic’ and other articles.
The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter July 2008
1. Editorial by Whitney Bauman, “Changes in the Forum Family”

2. From the Field: Forrest Clingerman and Mark Dixon, “A Field Report on the Ohio Northern University Working Group on Religion, Ethics, and Nature”

3. Focus on the Web: The Shift to Yale

4. The Natural History of the Bible, by Daniel Hillel

5. United Church Of Christ Announcement on Climate Change

6. Conference Announcement

7. Sermon Contest

8. Events, Professional Organizations, Calls for Papers, and Journals