26 August 2009
Three members of the Inter-religious Coordinating Council of Israel (ICCI) recently visited Australia to spread their message of grassroots interfaith peace-building. Through the commonalities of their Abrahamic faiths, they seek to find solutions for people of different faiths to work together for the common good.
The three speakers included Dr Debbie Weissman, the President of the International Council of Christian and Jews and Co-Chair of the ICCI, an Israeli Jew; Issa Jaber, Co-Chair of the ICCI, a Muslim- Arab Israeli; and Rula Shubeita, a Christian-Arab Palestinian.
Transformation by Integration: How Inter-faith Encounter Changes Christianity
Perry Schmidt-Leukel, SCM, London, 2009
Perry Schmidt-Leukel has been writing and publishing on Christian theology and inter-faith relations for many years; unfortunately most of his writing has been in German, and has not been translated into English. Scmidt-Leukel has long proposed a (broadly) pluralist understanding of inter-faith relations. This book publishes for the first time in English some recent essays of Schmidt-Leukel which have previously appeared in German theological publications, as well as some new work.
Challenging Islamophobia: Towards Social Justice & Inclusion
19-21st July 2009
On 19-21st July 2009, a national social cohesion conference on the topic Challenging Islamophobia: Towards Social Justice & Inclusion was held at Sydney University. Sponsors included Affinity Intercultural Foundation, Centre for Research on Social Inclusion, and several universities. The conference explored the theme of how to work towards a socially cohesive society in the context of contemporary realities and challenges.
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
People of many faiths met together on Sunday afternoon, 5th July 2009, to show their support for Indian and other overseas students. The gathering of 150+ people at Wesley Uniting Church, Box Hill (Melbourne), was a response to recent events where Indian students living in Melbourne have been threatened, attacked and racially vilified. The gathering provided an opportunity for leaders of the Hindi, Muslim, Sikh and Christian communities to offer prayers for peace.
The Quiet Revolution: The Emergence of Interfaith Consciousness
Peter Kirkwood, ABC Books, 2007
In The Quiet Revolution, past producer of the ABC program Compass Peter Kirkwood, surveys the course of pioneering leaders, local interfaith communities and international organisations as they chart their way through the new and rapidly changing religious landscape and spearhead the importance of interfaith dialogue. Quoting from Karen Armstrong, historian of religion, Kirkwood likens the current religious landscape we live in as another Axial period for religion. According to Armstrong, this ‘Axial period is on par with the first Axial Age when the great prophets and sages appeared who ushered in the major world faiths’ (p.7). These “great prophets” and “sages” are the current and emerging key thinkers, local interfaith communities and international organisations in our current time that Kirkwood explores in his book.
The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus
by Amy-Jill Levine, HarperOne
It seems to be open season for Jewish books on Jesus. Levine's contribution is certainly not least among these works - it's masterful.
Really good scholars, in any field, tend to lose their ability to relate to lay readers in everyday language. Levine suffers no such impediment. This book is easy to read, easy to understand - but hard to ignore.
She explores the origins of Christianity from within Judaism with wit, humour, vigour and vitality without at any point sacrificing excellent scholarship or fidelity to both Levine's Jewish faith and the texts of the New Testament.