Posts Tagged 'Mary Desmond'

Patel: Appreciation of pluralism is both American, Islamic sentiment

Patel: Appreciation of pluralism is both American, Islamic sentiment

Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, released his newest book, Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America, Tuesday at the Chautauqua Institution. During the 2 p.m. Interfaith Lecture, in the Hall of Philosophy, Patel gave a lecture of the same name.

Patel touched on the Week Eight theme, “Radicalism: Burden or Blessing?” in his speech, which discussed the inspiration for his book, the history of pluralism in both the United States and Islam and the nature of America’s sacred ground.

Every time he is in the middle of writing a book, Patel said, he turns to his wife and asks why she let him do it again. For every author who elects to write another book, there is a spark of inspiration that ignites them at the start of the process, a spark which they hope burns through to the end, Patel said. For him, that spark came in the summer of 2010, while the U.S. was inflamed in the controversial battle over the “ground zero mosque.”

Jim Walker and Free Flight bring the classics, jazz and blues to the Amp

Jim Walker and Free Flight bring the classics, jazz and blues to the Amp

Jim Walker has played the flute in more than 750 motion pictures. He spent eight years as the principal flutist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic. But, he enjoys himself most when he’s onstage with his golden Burkart flute, dazzling an audience alongside his band, Free Flight.

“Free Flight is still by far the most fun thing I ever did,” Walker said.

“You’ll see me smiling all night, because I truly love the music we play, and I love the connection we inevitably get with an audience.”

Tonight, Walker and Free Flight will take over the Amphitheater stage at 8:15 p.m. and delight the audience with a setlist that draws inspiration from classical works, jazz numbers and pop hits from the past 80 years.

Gordis explores the duality of radicalism within religion

Gordis explores the duality of radicalism within religion

Radicalism is a loaded term. It can be explored in many contexts: social, political, religious. From the religious lens, there are two main forms of radicalism: radicalism and religion, and religious radicalism, Rabbi David M. Gordis said Monday in the Hall of Philosophy.

Gordis opened Week Eight’s Interfaith Lecture theme of “Radicalism: Burden or Blessing?” with a lecture discussing the duality of religious social functions, the two religiously focused forms of radicalism, and two radicals of the Jewish faith, in a lecture titled “Conserve or Transform: Religion’s Dilemma.”

Gordis is the president emeritus of Hebrew College and serves as a professor at the University of Albany. He began with discussing the two main functions of religion. Religion provides a sanctuary where people can find peace, prayer, worship and meditation. It is a stable institution that people can turn to when the world seems chaotic or insecure.

Terkel leads Mystic Heart program from Jewish Kabbalah tradition

Terkel leads Mystic Heart program from Jewish Kabbalah tradition

Larry Terkel has a hybrid identity. He was born Methodist, adopted and raised in a Jewish family, and then found his natural mother and discovered that he was part Scotch-Irish and part Cherokee Indian. In the 1970s, he spent a year studying Hinduism, Buddhism and yoga in India.

Terkel will facilitate the Mystic Heart Program during Week Eight with a focus on Kabbalah, Judaism’s more mystical tradition. Terkel will lead the program’s daily morning meditation sessions and also the semiweekly seminars on Tuesday and Thursday. The seminar topics will be “Kabbalah as Radical Spirituality” on Tuesday and “The Link between Meditation and Prayer” on Thursday.

Orr discusses acting with honor and integrity to combat climate change

Orr discusses acting with honor and integrity to combat climate change

“Is it possible for one generation to undermine the possibilities and scope of honor and integrity for its children and theirs?” asked David Orr during the 2 p.m. Interfaith Lecture Friday in the Hall of Philosophy.

“The answer is sure it is.”

In the final Week Seven Department of Religion lecture on the theme “Creating Cultures of Honor and Integrity,” Orr discussed culture, honor and integrity from the lens of an environmentalist in a lecture titled “Creating Cultures of Honor and Integrity in a Hotter Time.”

Syeed discusses the benefits of democracy for American Muslims

Syeed discusses the benefits of democracy for American Muslims

On Thursday, Sayyid M. Syeed continued the Week Seven Interfaith Lecture theme, “Creating Cultures of Honor and Integrity,” as he discussed the history, growth and optimism of an expanding Islamic community in North America. His lecture was titled “Islamic Experience in a Pluralist Democracy: Building a New Muslim Identity and Institutions in America.”

“What I am going to talk about is a new opportunity, a new millennium for humanity where those two religions are going to create a new reality of cooperation and understanding that is here in this country,” Syeed said.

That community is possible in the United States, because 250 years ago, the Founding Fathers committed to freedom of religion. Though it has taken some time for their goal to come to fruition, the society has gradually realized the interfaith vision the Founding Fathers had for the U.S., Syeed said.

Davis builds integrity in Atlanta schools after scandal

Davis builds integrity in Atlanta schools after scandal

On a Thursday at the end of June 2011, Erroll B. Davis Jr. retired from his position as the chancellor of the University System of Georgia. That Friday, he began as the superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools District. The next Tuesday, he was handed an 800-page report detailing the widespread cheating that had plagued the district during 2009.

“One can’t have any reaction besides extreme disappointment,” Davis said.

Davis will give the 10:45 a.m. lecture Thursday in the Amphitheater on Week Seven’s theme, “The Ethics of Cheating.” During his lecture, Davis will discuss the Atlanta Public Schools’ cheating scandal and the steps he has taken to eliminate the atmosphere of cheating in Atlanta and to replace it with an environment of integrity.

Young shares plans for creating a world that works from the ground up

Young shares plans for creating a world that works from the ground up

In Week Seven’s second Interfaith Lecture on the theme “Creating Cultures of Honor and Integrity,” Ambassador Andrew Young discussed his own personal experiences promoting change, and his ideas for ensuring that we build a country and a world that “feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, heals the sick and sets at liberty those who are oppressed.” Young’s speech was titled “I Dream of a World — That Works!”

Young is the United States’ former ambassador to the United Nations, a former congressman and former mayor of Atlanta. He has written two books, A Way Out of No Way: The Spiritual Memoirs of Andrew Young and An Easy Burden: The Civil Rights Movement and the Transformation of America; he is co-author of Walk in My Shoes: Conversations between a Civil Rights Legend and his Godson on the Journey Ahead. During his lecture, he used his many life stories and experiences to guide his speech.

Bemporad: Religion must reclaim sense of the holy, speak for the future

Bemporad: Religion must reclaim sense of the holy, speak for the future

“I do not think that one can claim that human beings are by nature either wholly good or wholly evil. We have the potential for both. We can either be good, or we can be not so good, and the culture and education that we’re exposed to can elicit one or the other,” Rabbi Jack Bemporad said Monday in the Hall of Philosophy.

In the first Interfaith Lecture on the Week Seven theme, “Creating Cultures of Honor and Integrity,” Bemporad discussed whether there are universal standards that define acceptable behavior for societies and individuals, what standards are “healthfully human,” how those standards can be emphasized, and the role of religion in encouraging those standards. The title of his lecture was “The Challenge of Creating Cultures of Honor and Integrity.”

Wagner: Programming games, programming religion

Wagner: Programming games, programming religion

Technology has become a part of almost every aspect of our lives. Video games and the algorithmic culture perpetuated by human reliance and participation in digital forms of media can influence the way we perceive religion and relationships.

Friday, in the last interfaith lecture about the Week Six theme, “The Life of Faith in the Digital Age,” Rachel Wagner discussed what the rise in a digital, algorithmic culture means for religion, how religion is depicted in video games, and what video games mean for religious practice and ritual. Wagner’s lecture was titled “Godwired: Religion, Ritual and Virtual Reality.”