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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Religious Education of the Young - Multifaith Resource Series no.1

Our goal in religious education is to create spiritual, moral, cultural and social beings. Religious education concerns learning about and from traditions including our own. Source: The consultation statement

Online Resource:
~~~~Questions and Learning Objectives in Religious Education
Abstract: RECALL QUESTIONS: Ask pupils to remember information they have learned previously e.g. What was the festival of Purim about that we looked at last week?; COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS: Ask pupils to express ideas in their own words major elements of a piece of writing to make them more accessible. e.g. If you believed literally in the Genesis account of creation how would it affect your attitude to global warming?; APPLICATION QUESTIONS: Apply a general principle to a new situation e.g. how is prayer similar and different between Hindus and Christians? ; ANALYSIS QUESTIONS: Break down the subject matter into parts and study the relationship between those parts e.g. Why do the gospels of Matthew and Luke open in different ways?; SYNTHESIS QUESTIONS: The pupils build a new idea, plan or experiment e.g. How might the play/film Jesus Christ Superstar affect your attitude to Christianity?; EVALUATION QUESTIONS: Pupils make judgements about quality: What kind of issues might arise, if any, for a Christian/Muslim living in your area ?; Amended from: Turney, C, 1997, Sidney Micro v Skills Series 2, University of Sydney, based on Bloom’s (1956) Taxonomy of Educational Objectives; Questioning can become more sophisticated by giving pupils a series of questions about, for example, a picture, and then asking questions about the questions e.g. which of the questions can you answer with certainty? Which questions assume the answer is an expert? Which questions restrict you to giving factual information?

----Religious Education Directory:
This electronic version of the RE Directory is designed as a 'first stop' reference point for all who are interested in Religious Education. ... has been developed by Culham Institute for The RE Council of England and Wales. Categories under which content is organized include, Faith Communities, Organisations Concerned with RE, RE Curriculum Resources...

Print media:
~~~~Religious education and human development. The relationship between studying religions and personal, social and moral education Grimmitt, Michael. Great Wakering [England] McCrimmons c1987 . See details at
Item Notes: Includes indexes ~ "Contains a common core RE Curriculum for PSMD and GCSE with 120 Curriculum Units, for classroom use illustrated by Schemes of Work on Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism."

~~~~Days of Significance : A Curriculum Resource & Other Curriculum Documents. Toronto District School Board, TDSB Equity Department.
The Equity Department develops and distributes curriculum documents and activity booklets. Materials do get updated and revised to serve better the needs of staff and students. Currently, the following materials are available to TDSB schools free of charge and upon request.

~~~~Trust Me : Shalom, Salaam, Peace. A Film by Ros Fruchtman. Wellspring Media. [videodisc (60 min.)]
Abstract: Trust Me Shalom, Salaam, Peace, is a funny, inspiring and deeply moving film about overcoming prejudices and fears at an interfaith summer camp.; An emotional chronicle of 33 children attending a North Carolina interfaith summer camp for Christians, Muslims and Jews, Trust Me was filmed in the wake of the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Rob Fruchtman, producer and director, follows 33 Christian, Jewish and Muslim boys, ages 9-13, who arrive at camp with some trepidation and preconceived notions about the children of other faiths.; The film tells the story of the boys, as well as the staff, as they engage in typical camp activities and in the process, forge strong bonds. The week culminates in one of the most stirring moments of their young lives.

~~~~Online video: how artists portray religious figures.
[Extract: What they did:
As part of a unit of work with Year 6 on major inspirational religious figures in both Christianity and Buddhism, a teacher used the free online resource 'Draw the Buddha's Face' to explore the key question, 'What can we learn about inspirational religious figures from the way artists represent them?' The resource includes video sequences that show artist Andy Weber sketching, in traditional Tibetan Buddhist style, a head of the Buddha. Clear instructions accompany each video clip, and straightforward information panels explain what is being shown. note: The web links in this document require the RealPlayer plug-in. (RealPlayer clips will not store offline.) You might also like to explore CLEO MagicWall, which offers pages from the resource mentioned in this article, in a format that can be downloaded for use with a digital projector, with or without an electronic whiteboard.

Multifaith demo in Oxford:We were a small yet powerful sight in Oxford City Centre. A diverse group, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, and Spiritualists met together to show the public that we, religious people, care about the plight of animals. We started on Cornmarket Streets, decked in robes and red sashes, the first six people carried, simple yet elegant animal coffins while everyone followed behind, moving slowly and silently. Listen to the Talk by Dharmavidya, Multifaith Service

Forthcoming Multifaith Resource Series - Workplace diversity; grief and bereavement; death and dying; praise and prayer; scripture & sacrament; rites & rituals; dress & diet; interfaith dialog, etc.

PS. While this series is a brief exposure to the vast resources, any one who is interested in the above, or other than the above facets of Multifaith practices, may please contact me: mt2222 at yahoo dot com.

What is Multifaith?

We have many references to explain this term, both in print and online resources. Few are mentioned below:
1. The term multifaith is used to refer to a gathering of people of different traditions where each is responsible for contributing something of their tradition in turn, in parallel so to speak. The strength of this approach is that it can give equal treatment and recognition to each; the weakness is when the different traditions come together, in a form of lamination, without sharing in a cohesive act. source: One Faith - Multifaith’ - A theological basis for multifaith gatherings, Faith and Order Commission. Victorian Council of Churches

2. ‘Multifaith’ is the obvious way of referring to many faiths existing alongside each other. ‘Religious pluralism’, on the other hand, is the notion that all religions are equally valid as a way to God, and are to be respected as such. Source: Multifaith and religious pluralism, by Timothy G. Alford

3. “Multifaith is a wide variety of faith traditions presented simultaneously. Multifaith is not a religion, but an approach to living in a religiously and spiritually diverse world that respects the integrity of different faith traditions and promotes diversity. In What is diversity? “Diversity is ‘otherness,’ or those human qualities that are different from our own and outside the groups to which we belong, yet are present in other individuals and groups.” Business Women’s Network. Diversity Best Practices. WOW! Facts 2002.” (Washington, Business Women’s Network, 2003), 865.

4. It is not an attempt to convert people from one faith to another or to meld different beliefs and practices into a new faith.” Source: “Gathering of Light Multifaith Spiritual Fellowship”

5. “An attempt to initiate dialog, cooperation, and understanding among individuals of many different faiths. It is occasionally used as a synonym for "interfaith." Unfortunately, various religious groups define the term “faith” differently. For example, some conservative Christians regard a person who is not of their denomination to be from a different faith. Other conservative Christians would regard liberal Christians as being of a different faith. Still other Christians interpret "multifaith" as involving other religions, as in a Christian-Jewish-Muslim exchange.”. “Glossary [A To M] of Religious Terms.”

6. It is possible for this same cycle to become endemic within the multifaith movement. In other words, it is very easy to think of the term multifaith as a ‘noun’, and thereby give it the potential of a body that can be described, measured, and evaluated. Already there is considerable effort to give it a structure by developing generic mission statements and constitutional rules and regulations. Even though these housekeeping details may be necessary for any group of people from diverse faith backgrounds to dialogue, this should not be considered as multifaith activity. On the contrary, it could easily become an attempt to form another syncretistic religious expression. It is only when the term “multifaith” is thought of as a ‘verb’ that it will serve its essential purpose and avoid becoming another religion. In The Benchmarks of Spirituality: Spirituality vis-a-vis the Development of Other Religious and Social Organizations

7. Multicultural/multifaith is good so long as ALL people (including Muslim extremists) respect the rights of others to their own religion or culture. IMO the guy on 60mins sounded like he didn't have any respect for the rights of established Australians, that's what frustrated me.Chookyn: poulet de montagne

8. Multifaith is not a new religion out of mixture or compound of all faiths. Each religion maintains its individuality and accepts the viewpoints of all other religions. Prakash Mody

9. Multifaith is one of the topics in focus at Global Oneness

10. Perhaps we could reflect on what we understand by culture, multifaith and multiculture. Multiculture of course denotes plurality of cultures. Multifaith meansseveral religiousbeliefs existing sideby side. The suffix -ism gives it the necessary stamp of a discipline of abiding valueand importance Multiculturalism, Bhuban Baruah, UK

11. Multifaith is about respecting each other, and each other's religious paths and traditions. And that includes those from no faith or religious tradition Flinders University Religious Centre
12. A Website, Multifaithnet, explains its focus in the words:
MultiFaithNet is a self-access research, learning, information and dialogue tool, providing updated access to global electronic resources and interactions useful for study of world religious traditions and communities and the practice of inter-faith dialogue. It is invaluable for those with information, community liaison and equal opportunities responsibilities in the public, private and voluntary (including religious) sectors offering a participative electronic forum for dialogue and debate among and between faith communities.

13. A Canadian magazine, Voices Across Boundaries, states its goal as:
Voices Across Boundaries is published by Across Boundaries Multifaith Institute, whose goal isto increase knowledge and understanding of religious faith traditions, their history,practices and place in the contemporary world...
Across Boundaries Multifaith Institute is a Canadian-based educational organization with an international scope, providing a venue in which people from diverse traditions and beliefs can begin to communicate with one another in a context of growing understanding and sympathy. Source

Obiously, in a broader sense the term Multifaith refers to multiple faiths representing a unity in diversity. As the world tries to understand the other, this term includes first, mainstream religions and spirituality, and second alternative paths of belief and practice—a.k.a. new age movements, non-traditional movements, paganism, etc.

Additional Readings:
----Multifaith Competencies of Chaplains, by Desmond Sequeira [Rev. Sequeira is the Spiritual Care Provider at the Rideau Regional Centre, Smith Falls, Ontario.]

----Christianity in a Multifaith World, UCSB Front Porch, February 1, 2002

----Introduction: Why Faith in Partnership? John Devine, Churches’ Officer for the North West, explains

----RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE AND INTOLERANCE: Tolerance is not much, but it would be a great improvement over what we have now...or would it?

See also Web-based sources: Google's DirectoryReligious Tolerance; Religious Tolerance's gateway promoting religious understanding, tolerance and freedom; Beliefnet which is the largest spirituality and faith web portal

Products and Services:
The Ontario Multifaith Council on Spiritual and Religious Care develops and makes available multifaith resource materials for religious and spiritual caregivers, educators, and others. Click here for the following: The Multifaith Information Manual; The Multifaith Calendar 2006; The Golden Rule Poster; Spiritual and Religious Care / Chaplaincy Tent Cards

Look at (and select the items from my Listmania): Multifaith in multimedia - VHS; Multifaith in multimedia - Audio / CD; Multifaith in multimedia - DVD; Religion in workplace (religious practice in work hours); Symbols, Icons, Images; Dress Needs Faithwise; Food Needs Faithwise; Death (near death, after death, end-of-life); Building Bridges - Faithwise; Online Religion / Religion Online.

Religous Tolerance:
"can't we all just get along?"

Image source: A GOD FIGHT for all religions

See blogs with similar interests: Multifaith; Religious pluralism; Religious tolerance; Interfaith dialog; Religious harmony; Religious accommodation; Pluralistic society Religious spiritual care; Spiritual care; Best Spiritual Blogs - Beliefnet's picks for the coolest, most interesting faith-based weblogs.

DISCLAIMER: All of the above is the effort of an individual. No institution or agency supports this project. The information is collected, it is hoped, to build bridges in the society.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Managing Religious Diversity in the Library

Presented at the Ontario Library Association's Super Conference 2006, February 3, 2006 Session # 1027, 9:05 am-10:20 am
by Prof. Joseph Romain and Dr. Mohamed Taher
Ontario Multifaith Council for Spiritual and Religious Care, Toronto.

About This Session
~~~Issues and concerns regarding accommodation of faith in the library
~~~Public Services Issues
~~~Human Resources Issues
~~~We will NOT be providing you with specific solutions.

For a copy of the presentation, send an email: mt2222 at yahoo dot com

Friday, April 14, 2006

Save the Time of the Godly: Information Mediators Role in Promoting Spiritual & Religious Accommodation

by Dr. Mohamed Taher.
This is dedicated to Professor Emeritus A. Neelameghan, a mentor of my mentors, and whose single outstanding contribution to the Multifaith world in an electronic document, OM Information Service (OMIS), overshadows all that is cataloged in the present article.

Abstract: Information mediating – as practiced by the library and information professionals -- links information seeker with information source and helps in saving the time of the faithful. In the age of Internet, librarians are trying their best to satisfy the information needs of the users, with vast variety of resources (both print and online). The article highlights spiritual & religious questions received at the library’s reference desk. Web-based reference transactions are increasing the use of libraries and providing seekers with greater access to resources. Moreover, Internet helps enhancing skills and competencies as well opportunities for learning this sort of mediation. While most librarians may or may not know that they are a valuable source for fostering spiritual & religious accommodation, there are, nevertheless, many ways to illustrate this social good performed by the information mediators. This paper provides samples of best practices and facilitate in assessing return-on-investments.

This article appears in Knowledge Organization, Information Systems and other Essays. K.N. Prasad and K.S. Raghavan (eds.) Professor A. Neelameghan Festschrift. New Delhi, Ess Ess Publications, 2006
See: Detailed contents

For a reprint, send an email: mt2222 at yahoo dot com

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Multifaith Information Gateway

Welcome to this World's first blogsphere set to disseminate information in the area that is called: Multifaith.

The content, here, manifests three formats: Online, print and multimedia. The context is interdisciplinary, i.e., multifaith literature which encompasses faiths, spiritualities, cults, cultures, races, regions, signs, symbols, actions, activities, as well as, transendental meditation.

And in the beginning there was the word...

Many New England colleges and universities trace their beginnings to religious, in most cases, Protestant Christian, roots. Even as colleges and universities shed their formal religious ties by the end of World War II and declared themselves secular, a Christian ethos continued to permeate their institutional culture. Today on many campuses, past mono-religious practices are colliding with multi-religious realities. This collision has precipitated a crisis in dealing with the increasing religious diversity on campus and addressing issues of spirituality and education.
source:Moments of meaning: Religious pluralism, spirituality and higher education Connection: New England's Journal of Higher Education, Fall 1998 by Kazanjian, Victor H Jr

From the Like-minded Blogspheres (recent postings), Multifaith Issues From Other Blogs - Update No. 1 :
~~~~The Enquirer - View stained glass in a new light (Cincinnati glass):
A series of stained glass windows lines the hallway into the Chapel of the Holy Child and ... the Holy Child and Multifaith Sanctuary. at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center ... Source:

~~~~a candle, a prayer, and a salute -- a love letter from an old hippy:
I think it was Wednesday or Thursday of last week, after a multifaith service was held in front of the blue house, that the kids quietly packed up the massive memorial on the sidewalk, boxing up the mementos to give to the various ...

~~~~Multifaith calendar:
I want to wake up one day as a new multifaith calendar, leaving all bad thoughts, bad times and pains behind, but how can that be? If I only have the power to bring back time, I wont let myself into this mess.

~~~~A Glass of White Wine, a Bottle of Neuroses:
Compared to a lot of people, I like my editorial job at, what I like to describe to people as a "multifaith religion news website" or "the online version of TIME magazine, with a religious twist." Yes, the pay is probably ...

~~~~The 8 Dynamics of Existence:
It actually embraces the allness of all. When the seventh dynamic is reached in its entirety one will only then discover the true Eighth Dynamic.

~~~~Links to Multifaith and Religion Sites

~~~~Click here to browse the world's leading resource in this area:The Multifaith Library

~~~~The Hindu Business Line, July 27 2005, 'The Hindu ad gets credit at NY fest' by Sankar Radhakrishnan: "We cogratulate THE HINDU for being a Christian, a Muslim, a Parsi, a Sikh, a Buddhist and a Jain for the Last 125 years"

A comment by a reader
: The Hindu on its 125th anniversary, the ad also sought to highlight the paper's tradition of dispassionate dissemination of news

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