The communal kitchens and eating areas are the heart of the buildings that make up the Ecumenical Community of Chautauqua. Cabinets line the walls and nearly none of them have doors; everyone’s food is on display — as is much of the color spectrum. It’s not just the ubiquitous Frosted Flakes blue and peanut-butter brown; with a closer look, there’s also a vase of green basil, a purple eggplant and a yellow watermelon.
In 2006, Chautauqua Institution’s Department of Religion founded the Abrahamic Program for Young Adults, an initiative that aims to engage the community with interfaith dialogue and cooperation. The coordinators for the 2013 Season were Moshe Givental (Judaism), Sydney Maltese (Christianity), Jawad Bayat (Islam) and Farrah Walji (Islam).
There seems to be a smartphone app for everything these days — social media, weather forecasts and even an app that shows the exact direction of Mecca. And that’s just one of the many apps that are made specifically for Muslims.
Medical patients have physical needs as well as spiritual ones. And Dr. Christina Puchalski doesn’t believe health care professionals should limit themselves to just the former.
She said that 73 percent of cancer patients said they’ve experienced at least one instance of spiritual need; 40 percent of newly diagnosed cancer patients said they have a significant level of spiritual distress.
In Dr. Stephen Sagar’s view, medicine has become a dystopian business enterprise. There are so many rules and regulations for health care professionals to deal with that it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to provide compassionate health care. Bureaucratic systems are taking the soul out of health care organizations, he said, by pulling physicians and nurses out of the front lines and into a culture detached from patients, one that values efficiency and productivity over personal interaction. “You may be surprised to learn that physicians are losing their power to make decisions and moral choices,” Sagar said. “A major contributor to that is micromanagement of the physician and nurse by a burgeoning bureaucracy of administrators and managers who impose a top-down approach to controlling clinicians.”
Soon after becoming director of the Comprehensive Burn Center at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Dr. Richard Fratianne met a young woman named Gloria who had been burned from the waist up. A life-threatening injury, her burns covered 60 percent of her body.
Those at the burn center put Gloria through five major surgical procedures, Fratianne said. They rebuilt her face with skin grafts so she could open and close her eyes normally and so she could eat and drink without drooling; though her cheeks were stiff, she could still smile. A job well done, the surgeons thought to themselves.
The United States spends almost twice as much per person on health care as any other developed country.
“ ‘Where is this money going?’ is the question that ought to haunt us,” Dr. Timothy Johnson said, “and will be hanging over our heads the rest of this afternoon.”
Zeki Saritoprak is the Nursi Chair in Islamic Studies at John Carroll University. At 2 p.m. Friday in the Hall of Philosophy, he delivered an Interfaith Lecture on the Gülen movement and on Turkish culture and religion. Saritoprak is a contributing author of Turkish Islam and the Secular State: The Gülen Movement, edited by Hakan Yavuz and John L. Esposito.
Before discussing Gülen and his Hizmet movement, Saritoprak gave a brief outline of Turkish history, from the start of the Ottoman Empire to the founding of the Republic of Turkey. He spoke on how Islam appeared in Turkey and on the religiosity of modern Turkish people.
In the months following 9/11, Subagh Singh Khalsa entered an intense period of meditation. During that time, he used the healing meditations he had long practiced not with the intention of healing one individual, but with a new impulse to bring healing to the many in the world that were suffering.
For his Interfaith Lecture at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Hall of Philosophy, Ori Soltes took the audience on a journey through the history of Jews in Turkey. Soltes teaches theology, philosophy and art history at Georgetown University. For seven years, he was the director and chief curator of the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum in Washington, D.C.
Emperor Justinian I was the first in the history of the Byzantine Empire to make decrees specifically related to Jews, Soltes said. One of the decrees, for example, required that any synagogue that was needed as a church should be converted to one.