Thursday, July 30, 2009

Interfaith and Compassion - Karen Armstrong on UChannel

UChannel podcast reproduced a lecture by Karen Armstrong, that originated from the RSA, Why Interfaith? There is whole lot one can learn from, an be inspired by Armstrong's talk. I'll try to pick a few points.

What bothers me daily in institutionalized religious traditions as they come to me, is that they are so vindictively exclusivist. In Armstrong's discovery of religions, they are not exclusive by their nature. The traditions, obviously and inevitably have been co opted by dignitaries with a political agenda. They have squandered the spiritual for the numbing rituals and dogmas. But that is not what religions were made for and not what they support people for. Karen says it better than I do.

Interfaith is a concept of dialog among the religions and in this and in her studies, Karen Armstrong claims to have found a central rule that is shared by all, the good old Golden Rule - not to do unto others what you do want them to do unto you. Or in a positive notion, the value of compassion. She pleads for individuals and communities of all walks of life to tap into this value of compassion and thus reach out to each other. This would create a channel for rapprochement and some chance of beginning to resolve the disrupted relations, to counter fundamentalism and create a collective platform for addressing global issues of peace and the fatal threats to our environment. She plans on having a worldwide action by the end of 2009, where across religions people and communities will sign a Charter For Compassion.

More Karen Armstrong:
Speaking of Faith and TED.

More UChannel Podcast:
Talent is overrated,
Ronald Reagan, a rebel,
Disasters and Peace,
Enclosing the commons of the mind,
Middle East challenges.
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