Interfaith Fridays: Interfaith Scriptural Explorations

Explorations of texts from various religions, primarily Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, using the Scriptural Reasoning method developed in England, supported by Cambridge University, and now used all over the world.

When: 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Where?  Religion and Philosophy Commons, Hendrix College

·         Feb 2.: Interfaith Scripture Explorations: Texts on Hospitality to the Stranger

·         March 9: Interfaith Scripture Explorations: Texts on Abraham’s Journey

·         April 6: Interfaith Scripture Explorations: Texts on Encountering God

 

Worldview Wednesdays: “My Life” Listening Sessions

When? 4-5 pm on Wednesdays

Where?  Religion and Philosophy Commons, Hendrix College

  • January 31: My life in Buddhism (Doug Holmes and Mike Mueller, Hendrix graduates active in the Ecumenical Buddhist Society, LR)
  • February 7:  My life in Hinduism (Jeffrey Long, Elizabethtown College, Hindu scholar and practicing Hindu, by Skype)
  • February 14: My Life Growing up in Chinese Culture (Guo-ou Zhuang, Associate Professor Chinese Culture, Director of Confucius Institute, UCA)
  • March 7: My life in Atheism (Gwen Stockwell, International Programs, Hendrix College)
  • March 14: Our Lives in Judaism (Tracie and Phillip Spivey, Community Outreach and     Philosophy, UCA)
  • March 28: My Life in Christianity (Peg Falls Corbitt, Professor of Philosophy, Hendrix College)
  • April 4: My Life in Islam (Nader Abou-diab, LR)
  • April 11: My Life in Unitarian Universalism (Rev. Jan Nielson, Unitarian Universalist minister, LR)

Multi-Faith Mondays: Interfaith, Psychology, and Theology

What?  Short presentations relevant to Interfaith Studies, followed by open discussion.

When?  Monday evenings from 6-7 pm

Where? Faulkner County Public Library (1900 West Tyler Street)

  • Feb. 5: Mental Health in Arkansas (David Hawkins, LAC)
  • Feb. 12: Mental Health in Arkansas (David Hawkins, LAC)
  • Feb. 19: The Practice of Pluralism: Political and Religious (Jay McDaniel)
  • Feb. 26: The Enneagram and Interfaith (Amanda Moore)
  • March 5:  The Enneagram and Interfaith (Amanda Moore)
  • March 12: Can a Christian be a Buddhist, Too? (Jay McDaniel)
  • March 26: Ideas of God and Interfaith (Jay McDaniel)

 

Cultivating an Interfaith Mindset in Rural Arkansas

26055702_395256380887231_813604204524835639_n.jpgWhile most interfaith resources are concentrated in urban areas, the need to cultivate hospitality toward other religions exists in rural areas as well. During this workshop, held March 3, 2018, we explored the characteristics of “an interfaith mindset,” learned about existing interfaith initiatives in rural Arkansas, and brainstormed new ways to cultivate interfaith understanding in areas where religious diversity is not readily apparent.

The workshop was sponsored by the Greater Arkansas Interfaith Network and facilitated by Dr. Jay McDaniel and the Rev. Teri Daily.

If you are interested in interfaith work in rural areas, join our Facebook Page Rural Arkansas Interfaith Network, a GAIN Group.

Film and Spirit: A Discussion on Nature, Stories, Joy, and Contemplation

We will meet on Thursdays at 4:30-6:00 at Panera Bread in the Hendrix Village on the 2nd Thursdays of each month, with the exception of December.  (Sep. 14th, Oct. 12th, Nov. 9th, Dec. 7th)

 The Film and Spirit discussion series focuses on the power of storytelling, the benefit of a shared experience, and thoughtful dialogue on ethical, moral, and religious questions. The intention of each film in the series is to open up dialogue on questions or themes that the films present and how we can broaden those themes into a shared vision of the world. In these discussions, we welcome the perspective, opinion, and wisdom of all spiritual traditions and even those without any spiritual identity. We serve as a community of Human beings traveling the long road to rediscover and foster our own Humanness. And with such a vision, we hope to forge bonds, develop a sense of inter-dwelling, a widened circle of companions, and enjoy great cinema together. 

In these discussions, we will be following the guidelines of Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat’s Spiritual Alphabet. They provide a template for developing spiritual literacy, as well as, valuable resources and reviews on the films that are explored. 

Accompanying each film are subsequent material that will broaden the themes and vision of each film, in order, to give the topics real-world applications and focus. I hope that it will deepen the experience of each viewer. Drawn from TED Talks and Kriista Tippet’s On Being podcasts.

I: Into the Wild (Sep. 14th; Focus: Nature, Beauty, Yearning, and Transformation)

– Louie Schwartzberg: Nature, Beauty, and Gratitude. https://www.ted.com/talks/louie_schwartzberg_nature_beauty_gratitude

– Karen Bass: Unseen footage, untamed nature. https://www.ted.com/talks/karen_bass_unseen_footage_untamed_nature

– John Francis: Walk the Earth….my 17 year vow of silence. https://www.ted.com/talks/john_francis_walks_the_earth

ll: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Oct. 12th; Focus: Global Citizenship, Travel, Fat Soulhood, and Transformation)

– Pico Iyer: Where is Home? https://www.ted.com/talks/pico_iyer_where_is_home

– Shekhar Kapur: We are the stories we tell ourselves. https://www.ted.com/talks/shekhar_kapur_we_are_the_stories_we_tell_ourselves

– Hugh Evans: What does it mean to be a Global Citizen? https://www.ted.com/talks/hugh_evans_what_does_it_mean_to_be_a_citizen_of_the_world

lll: Hector and the Search for Happiness (Nov. 9th; Focus: Compassion, Joy, Peace, Meaning, Inner Journey)

– Krista Tippet: Reconnecting with Compassion. https://www.ted.com/talks/krista_tippett_reconnecting_with_compassion

– Joanna Macy: A Wild Love for the World Podcast. joanna-macy-wild-love-world-2

– Karen Armstrong: My Wish-the Charter for Compassion. https://www.ted.com/talks/karen_armstrong_makes_her_ted_prize_wish_the_charter_for_compassion

 IV: The Tree of Life (Dec. 7th; Focus: Meaning, Contemplation, Silence, Vision, Meditation)

– Pico Iyer: The art of stillness. https://www.ted.com/talks/pico_iyer_the_art_of_stillness

– Jon Kabat-Zinn: Opening to Our Lives podcast. https://onbeing.org/programs/jon-kabat-zinn-opening-to-our-lives/

– Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability. https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

Can a Christian be a Buddhist, Too?

Can a Christian be a Buddhist, Too?

  • Saturday, September 16, 2017
  • 9:00am  12:00pm
  • Ecumenical Buddhist Society1516 West 3rd StreetLittle Rock, AR, 72201United States (map)

A morning workshop on September 16, 2017
9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Ecumenical Buddhist Society

Sponsors: Ecumenical Buddhist Society of Little RockGreater Arkansas Interfaith Network, and Widening the Circle

Throughout the United States and Europe, and also in Asian countries, Buddhists and Christians are engaged in dialogue, not simply to learn about each other but to learn from one another. Along the way they become Christians influenced by Buddhism and Buddhists influenced by Christianity, exhibiting what scholars call “double religious belonging.”

This three-hour workshop approaches such dialogue from the vantage point of a Paul Knitter, former Catholic priest and professor of world religions at Union Theological Seminary in New York, who is a professing Christian and Buddhist and author of Without Buddha I Could Not be a Christian. Jay McDaniel will share the contents of his book in an informal way, and there will be open discussion, with sessions of breathing meditation interspersed. Participants are encouraged to purchase and peruse the book in advance.

Our hope is that this can help inaugurate ongoing discussions in Christian-Buddhist dialogue throughout the central Arkansas area.

Please register by emailing Dr. Jay McDaniel: mcdaniel@hendrix.edu.

Table of Contents of Knitter’s Book:

Chapter One: Nirvana and God the Transcendent Other
Chapter Two: Nirvana and God the Personal Other
Chapter Three: Nirvana and God the Mysterious Other
Chapter Four: Nirvana and Heaven
Chapter Five: Jesus the Christ and Gautama the Buddha
Chapter Six: Prayer and Meditation
Chapter Seven: Making Peace and Being Peace
Conclusion: Promiscuity or Hybridity?
A New Conclusion: Jesus and Buddha Both Come First!

Introduction to Liberation Theology

Stephanie Gray and the Faulkner County Coalition for Social Justice led a book study on the book: Liberation Theology for Armchair Theologians.

This book is a great introduction to the history and practice of liberation theology. The focus of liberation theology is using the life experiences of the poor and marginalized to transform our study of scripture and church doctrine to more adequately address social ills and promote justice. The study mainly focuses on Christian liberation theology,  but towards the latter part of the study expands to liberation as a theme in Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

The group met at The Morgan House (1926 Prince Street) on every other Wednesday starting on August 30.

August 30: Chapter 1- Resistance!
September 13: Chapter 2- Opening the Windows
September 27: Chapter 3- Liberation Theologies: What Are They?
October 11: Chapter 4- Early Proponents
October 25: Chapter 5- Liberation in El Norte
November 8: Chapter 6- The Faiths of People
November 29: Chapter 7- Moving beyond Liberation Theology

Worldview Wednesdays

An informal discussion of open and relational worldviews that are conducive to living with respect and care for the community of life, appreciative of many different faith traditions, and with special care for the vulnerable: people and animals included.

Often open and relational worldviews envision our world as a vast process of inter-becoming, filled with multiple forms of life, each worthy of respect and care.  These worldviews also highlight the interconnectedness of all things and encourage delight in diversities: cultural, racial, religious, sexual, gendered, artistic, musical.  They see many differences (cultural, philosophical, religious) as complementary not contradictory, and propose that societies and communities can be enriched by them.

Of course we all know that there are conflicts as well.  Open and relational worldviews advocate living with enriching tensions, but moving beyond destructive conflicts, not through violence or coercion, but through dialogue across differences and generous listening.  Their advocates speak of an open future that is influenced by the past, but not entirely determined by it, due to the creative decision-making (conscious and unconscious) of human beings and, so some believe, other living beings.  Open and relational worldviews can include belief in God as understood in various ways, and they can be non-theistic as well.  They are available to believers, non-believers, and the vast majority who are somewhere in between.

There are many forms of open and relational thinking.  Whitehead’s process philosophy is an example of such a worldview (see Twenty Key Ideas in Process Thought and Five Foundations for a New Civilization)  Nevertheless, it is one among many, and all are important in our time: African, Asian, Buddhist, Christian, Confucian, Daoist, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim, for example.  Central Arkansas is home to many advocates of open and relational worldviews in one form or another, each with his or her distinctive emphases.

GAIN hosted a weekly discussion at Panera, from 4-5 each Wednesday, inviting professors to come share their versions of open and relational thinking in short fifteen minute presentations, followed by open discussion for forty-five minutes.

Professors included Dr. Donna Bowman (process theology), Dr. Nicholas Brasovan (process philosophy, Confucianism),  Dr. Clayton Crockett (continental philosophies), Dr. James Dow (environmental aesthetics), Dr. Bill Gorvine (Buddhist worldviews), Dr. Jay McDaniel (process theologies, Buddhism), and Dr. John Sanders (conceptual metaphor theory).  Professors are given fifteen minutes to articulate their worldviews, after which a bell us rung, and open discussion ensues for 45 minutes.   The question at hand is: “If you had only fifteen minutes, how might you recommend that we look at the world, so that we might live with respect for a plurality of religious and  cultural traditions: and with respect and care for the community of life: people, animals, and the earth included.”

Wednesday, September 13: Dr. Jay McDaniel (Hendrix): Process Theology

Wednesday, September 20: Dr. John Sanders (Hendrix): Conceptual Metaphor Theory

Wednesday, September 27: Dr. Bill Gorvine: A Buddhist Perspective

Wednesday, October 4: Dr. Donna Bowman (UCA): Process Theology

Wednesday, October 11: Dr. James Dow (Hendrix): Environmental Aesthetics

Wednesday, October 18: Dr. Clayton Crockett (UCA): Continental Philosophy

Wednesday, October 25: Dr. Nick Brasovan (UCA): East Asian Philosophy

Spiritual Pilgrimage in a Multi-Faith World

A Christian priest in the Episcopal tradition, Reverend Daily is deeply interested in faith journeys of all seekers, within and outside the Christian tradition, and is happy to engage in informal spiritual friendship by email. If you are at a place in your own spiritual journey where an informal dialogue with another person might be helpful, feel free to contact Reverend Daily using the contact form below.