A world of prayer: Spiritual Leaders, Activists and Humanitarians Share Their Favorite Prayer, edited by Rosalind Bradley, published by Orbis Books.
On Thursday May 10th I had the very special honour of being part of the launch (as MC) of Rosalind Bradley’s book A world of prayer (AWOP) which was held at St Francis Xavier Church hall, Lavender Bay. AWOP was launched by Dr Julian Doogan, lecturer in religions at Macquarie University and a regular writer on issues of religion and violence for The Australian, who not only did a brilliant job of launching the book, he also inspired and humoured the audience with his launch speech.
AWOP is a collection of favourite prayers chosen by spiritual leaders, activists and humanitarians and their reflections about their choice of prayer. Contributors to AWOP are from different faith traditions: Muslim Christian Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Tao and Bahai from around the world. AWOP is a sequel to Mosaic, which is a collection of favourite prayers by Australian writers of different faiths and backgrounds. Ros began working on Mosaic in the wake of the London bombings in 2006 which was for her a catalyst for her interest in other faiths. For Ros, the motivation for AWOP was inspired by the belief that
"each of the world’s main religions offers a specific and different insight into the mystery of human life. Every major religion - from Judaism to Islam or Buddhism to Hinduism - embraces peace and harmony in its own way yet their underlying values of humanity are the same."
It is Ros’ hope that the book will encourage understanding and respect of different faith traditions. As she states
"prayers of strength, hope and courage from all main religious traditions are the essence of this book. AWOP is a glimpse into the heart and soul of other faiths and how they connect with the Divine."
In launching the book Julian stated that one of the strengths of AWOP is that it does not attempt to universalise or represent the Divine as one and the same for all different traditions. It allows the prayers of each contributors of each faith traidtion to stand on its own integrity.
AWOP has a number of practical uses. It is a wonderful and practical resource for interfaith, multi faith and multicultural gatherings, a text for courses on interfaith dialogue, a resource for reflection on prayer from different faith traditions and a perfect gift for any occasion!
Profits of AWOP will go to St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace in London. St Ethelburga’s is a living symbol of hope. A centre rebuilt from the ruins of a city church destroyed by an IRA bomb in 1993. St Ethelburga’s sees itself beyond just being a building – and describes itself as ‘a growing community of people supporting each other and learning how to build relationships across divisions of conflict, culture and religion in their own situations.’ For more information on St Ethelburga’s visit http://stethelburgas.org/
Rev. Seforosa Carroll June 2012