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Friday, June 30, 2006

Secularism, Laicism, Diversity, Pluralism: What's In A Name?

This is a running post: Updated 16 Nov, 2006

Tolerance and Diversity in Islam
11/16/2006 - By: Asma Afsaruddin, IslamiCity
Long before the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution were formulated, medieval Muslim jurists developed what may be called an Islamic bill of rights ... continue reading Audio

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet."
--From Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2) [source. See more on Allah Oath, Google]

Any searcher must be clear about two things. First, what to search (for e.g., what keywords or terms); and second, where to search (such as, databases, library catalog, books, encyclopedias, or the Web's search engines) [If you are wondering where does this twain come from, let me make it clear. This is a part of systematic approach to information seeking, and information literacy considers this as an important strategy. See a guide to literature searching that illustrates this approach.]

Incidentally, what to search doesn't mostly apply in case we are searching the free text (for instance, a database, or Web-based search engine). Google as a search engine, for instance, promotes free text search (rather than browse thro' Web directories; use a controlled vocabulary, thesaurus, subject headings for a uniformity in search terms, etc.).

Interestingly, performing a free text search is possible by using all the keywords we may imagine. And, we may sometimes remember to include an alternative spelling, plurals, synonyms, homonyms, etc. Obviously, with such a powerful searchable tool, Google is facilitating a drastic change in our behavior about the way we seek and / or search information on the Web.

Whereas, library catalogs and databases tend to continue to facilitate search by a term or recognized subject heading (not to say that free text or keyword search is missing; they do include this as well).

But, the mian question relevant here is: Where are the uniform terms? In other words, is there any thing as a conceptually clear, systematic controlled vocabulary, that can be used for search of terms that are related, but used with different shades, used in different contexts, etc.? -- as in the case with terms such as, Secularism, Laicism, Diversity, Pluralism... is there any authority list? [If you are new, read more on Social Tagging for Library Science or on authority list discussion at LibraryThing, amidst the influence of clouds, free floating tags, etc. Click here]

For this type of difference in terms, let's check the Library of Congress catalog:

This much about the controlled vocabulary. I have a plan to analyze this variation and differences in providing a user-friendly controlled vocabulary. In the meanwhile, have a look at my Taxonomy of Faiths: A semantic journey.

In the following are some samples of Web-based resources. This is not exhaustive, but gives a semblance of what are the real problematic areas for an indexer, bibliographer, etc.

Allah oath

Dismissing a PIL seeking that 11 MLAs who had taken oath in Allah’s name be disqualified, the court said if such oath is prevented, it would defeat the secular character of the nation [source: The Telegraph July 22, 2006]

Web resources:
  • Time ripe for Islamic awakening, Dr M Iqtedar Husain Farooqi,, July 21, 2006
  • Islam and Laicism. Knowing Islam Abbés Jirari. 2003
  • LAICITY AND RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY. THE QUEBEC’S APPROACH - Report to the Minister of Citizen Relations and Immigration Conseil des relations interculturelles, Montréal (Québec). 2005 Article
  • Trying to Create an "Italian" Islam. Rigid Laicism Has Been Rejected Nikos Tzermias. Published: 27.12.2004 - Last modified: 11.01.2005
  • Islamic Concepts on Cultural Coexistence. Theory and Practice al-Khoei , Sayyed Abdol Majid. Centre for World Dialogue al-Khoei Foundation, London. London 1997 Article
  • Teaching Tolerance: Pioneering Anti-Bias Education
  • MULTIFAITH AND MULTICULTURAL MEDIATION SERVICE, The Global Green University, School of Nonviolence
  • Sandwell Libraries and Information Service Website. Multicultural Multifaith Resource Collection

  • Multicultural Library and Information Services Education
  • Faculty Diversity Web at UCLA
  • Diversity Web: An Interactive Resource Hub for Higher Education
  • Religious Identity and Intellectual Development: Forging Powerful Learning Communities, Victor Kazanjian, [Diversity in Higher Education: Why Corporate America Cares]

    My other similar post:
  • Searching Revisited: Horizontal, Vertical, Diagonal, etc.
  • Searching Is Polarized; Will The Five Laws Get a New Revised Version: Every Search Engine Its Searcher
  • Saturday, June 24, 2006

    Multifaith Issues From Other Blogs - Update No. 7

    Whats in the News
  • Polygamy: Would you or Would you Not? posted by Barbara From California @ Women on the verge of thinking, June 22, 2006
    Although today, polygamy (having more than one spouse) is not legal here in the United States, there was a time when many religions embraced such a concept. In fact, it was considered a blessing for Jews to have more than one wife at one time, and Mormons, too, adapted this concept to perpetuate the survival of their own people. Some cultures, especially in Africa, today, even sanction the marriage of one man to more than one woman, and vice-versa... Continue reading

  • Planning for pluralism, by Velveteen Rabbi, June 22, 2006
    The idea is to create liturgical experiences designed for "insiders" (we expect the most ardent and informed participants in the Jewish service to be the Jewish bloggers in attendance, for instance) but also designed to be open to "outsiders" (we hope that everyone will attend all of the sessions, regardless of whether you happen to be Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, or of a different tradition/persuasion altogether.) We also have high hopes that we'll be joined by bloggers who don't belong to any of the traditions I just listed, and we're aware that not every religious tradition is represented on the schedule -- but hey, time is limited, we made choices. Next year whoever's on the planning committee is welcome to choose otherwise! [... keep reading]

  • An interesting book review: The Myth of Religious Superiorty: A Multi-faith Exploration, by Paul F. Knitter, by Andii Bowsher, 21.6.06, @ booklogging
    Synopsis of the book:
    In this challenging book, the leading exponents of the idea that all religions are a refraction of a truth no single tradition can exclusively reveal, discuss what to make of that conviction in today's world of inter-religious strife. New in this book is the inclusion of authors from a variety of traditions, including John Hick, Rita Gross, Arvind Sharma, Roger Haight, Dan Cohn-Sherbok, and Mahmut Aydin. The authors try to make the case that the next step in inter-religious interchange ought to be the development of a multi-faith, pluralistic theology of religion. [Orbis Books, 2005] . Extract from the review by Andii:
    There is much in this book that bears further thought and wrestling with and as a set of statements advocating a pluralist position in response to the critiques of its first blush it is important. In the end it seems to me that Bernhardt should have the last word; “the religions will never totally move beyond a 'Ptolomaic' framework; they will have to engage each other in a never-ending dialogue ... inclusive insofar as it starts on the side of ones own religion; ... mutual since it will open one's own tradition to the challenging otherness of other religions.” Read the complete review

  • What Would Allah Do?, by Julia Gorin, Jun 20th, 2006
    Jewish Air Force vet Michael Weinstein’s suit against the Air Force is building steam. He is suing the Air Force over nebulous charges of Christian “proselytizing” (i.e. chaplains mentioning the name “Jesus” in multifaith contexts).

  • The Journalism of Fatwas, June 16, 2006 posted at EditIndia: Indian Media and Journalism Site / Weblog
    It seems some journalists have been assigned the 'fatwa' beat. Whenever there is any cleric issuing a controversial fatwa that can make a 'story' it is given too much of an attention.
    1. A cleric in Hyderabad issues fatwa against Vande Matram. CNN-IBN even did a story and none other than Soni Sangwan covered it. Now one expects a journalist like Soni Sangwan to be objective. She didn't go into the reason why Vande Mataram, a hymn, was opposed by a fiercely patriotic Subash Chandra Bose and a socialist like Ram Manohar Lohia who called it a blot on Indian freedom struggle(not to talk of Gandhi and others). The reason is that it comes from Anand Math that is pro-British. Continue reading this post. Other news story following the recent Fatwa of a Hyderabad Muslim Clergy on Vande Matram: CO-EXISTENCE OR VANDE MATARAM?, Mike Ghouse; Living in the Past, EDITORIAL, Navhind, June 10, 2006; And, about Vande Mataram in text, audio, translation, etc., How secular is Vande Mataram? by A.G. NOORANI

  • Assimilation, Mike Ghouse,
    The following article has gotten a few interesting points to ponder. First of all, congratulations to the Jewish Community for Celebrating 350 years of establishing the Jewish communities in UK and USA. More...

  • Religious groups decry imam's visit, Some Muslims join with Jews, Hindus, Government won't bar entry to Canada, SURYA BHATTACHARYA, Toronto Star STAFF REPORTER, Jun. 22, 2006.
    Should a controversial British Muslim imam be allowed to speak at a youth conference in Toronto?
    It's a question that has divided the local Muslim community.
    "It is sad to see that some people might want to bring their hate to Canada," said Naresh Raghubeer of the Hindu Conference of Canada. Read the full story or click here

    Previous entries:

  • Multifaith Issues From Other Blogs - Update No. 6; Update No. 5; Update No. 4; Update No. 3; Update No. 2; Update No. 1
  • Friday, June 23, 2006

    Multifaith Stacks: A New Book for the Information Professionals

    Print, online and handouts abound that deal with sacred presence in secular environment, or vice-versa. And the list includes themes such as, God at the reference desk, religious questions at the reference desk, a liturgy for the faithful Librarian, a faith-based Website: Stack C: The Sacred and the Secular, etc. I myself have been contributing, in humble ways at: The Multifaith Information Gateway, with focus on diversity in the workplace, religious accommodation in the public sphere, Knowledge management for religious and spiritual domains, etc. Nevertheless, these bits and bytes are scattered (or dispersed using Bradford's lingo) in the deep end of the Web. Let me admit my own ignorance: there is not one book on the concept of evidenced-based sacred-cum-secular librarianship.*** But, there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

    I just read information about a new book. I think it inspires the communities of best practices, or those who are involved in information handling, in today's Multifaith, Multicultural, Multilingual, Multiracial and Pluralistic age. A sample from all-of-the-above areas is summarized in the following book:

    Sacred Stacks: The Higher Purpose of Libraries and Librarianship, BY NANCY KALIKOW MAXWELL (American Library Association, 2006).
    Drawing from history, sociology, and philosophy, Sacred Stacks voices the importance of the library profession and libraries as community institutions in a secular time. Though secular institutions, libraries can be the setting for a spiritual vacation.
    1 Libraries as sacred, secular institutions 1
    2 Librarians perform sacred functions 20
    3 Librarians and libraries organize chaos 38
    4 Librarians and libraries bestow immortality 48
    5 Librarians and libraries uplift individuals and society 61
    6 Libraries provide sacred, secular space 77
    7 Librarians and libraries promote community 94
    8 Librarians and libraries transmit culture to future generations 113
    9 Implications of libraries as sacred, secular institutions 125

    I am simply lost, and let you yourself see the subject heading for this book in LC are:
    Libraries -- Aims and objectives.
    Libraries and society.
    Library science -- Philosophy.

    Whereas, other cataloguers do not feel comfortable with this concept of minimal level cataloging. Ranganathan's faceted scheme would be handy, if one is looking. In addition, my cataloging inspiration is from Sanford (aka Sandy) Berman, another master of content visualization. And using his approach which he called alternative cataloging, I think, we need at least five more headings. While Sandy would go an extra mile, if there is none in the LCSH, incidentally, in our case LC does have all the five. A search for any item dealing with sacred-cum-secular in the Multifaith Library's catalog will get you these and much more. More around Sandy's inspired content in available from my visual catalog Webliography

    P.S. Thanks to Anna for information about this book. I wish to share her comment about the book:
    While I do not agree with everything in this book, I did find this brief nine chapter, 156 page book a balm for my soul and my book spines.

    on the same shelf:

    *** Because of this total dearth of anthologies, I took up a book writing project. My new book, due for release this year is about Cyber Worship in Multifaith Perspective. See secular librarianship,   Atheist Librarian   Communist Librarian   THEOLOGICAL LIBRARIANSHIP

    Tuesday, June 20, 2006

    Multifaith Issues From Other Blogs - Update No. 6

    What's making news:

  • Hey Ram! Mahatma Gandhi faces vandalism on Wikipedia:
    Mahatma Gandhi is in the company of God, Michael Jackson, William Shakespeare and Tony Blair - as well as comfort women and sex - in Wikipedia's list of semi-protected topics that have been repeatedly targeted in 'edit wars' or attacked by vandals on the popular online encyclopaedia. details USA News, 19th of June 2006 [Indo-Asian News Service], See Mahatma Gandhi in Wikipedia; in the Trivia Hall of Fame. See also: Gandhiji's Gujarat; Vandals target Mahatma Gandhi online, The Times of India [June 19, 2006 09:35:29 amIANS]

  • If Gandhi had Internet Access...
    DigitalDivideNetwork reports on a post by Taran Ramprasad about an Italian telephone company advertisement where Gandhi is depicted.
    Taran Rampersad posted a note to the digitaldivide list yesterday with a link to an award-winning commercial from Italy. It features Mahatma Gandhi giving a speech from a village hut in India. The twist is that the commercial envisions a world in which modern ICTs like the Internet and webcasting exist in the 1940s, and that the digital divide has been bridged. more details
    Thus spake Gandhi: “Indian culture is neither Hindu, nor Islamic, nor any other wholly…it is a fusion of all”. More on the diversity of the Nation, India

  • Faiths come together, Bristol University | News
    This Monday, 19 June will see the launch of the University of Bristol’s Multifaith Chaplaincy and Student Multifaith Forum. Both developments speak of excellent relations between all faith groups in a climate of respect and understanding. The launch is also an occasion to celebrate the diversity of religion and culture that is represented not only in the University but also in the city of Bristol.

  • 2006 Multifaith Youth Service Program (Multifaith Community Service Program),
    Muslims, Christians and Buddhists all working together for a common cause?
    It’s a reality with Building Bridges: A Multi-Faith Community Service Event, organized by the Religious Youth Service, Australian Islamic Council, Carmelite Monastery and Fo Guang Shan Temple.
    The 24th of June marks this Multifaith Community Event which will bring together youth groups from 3 separate religious faiths to build dialogue and cooperation between them. Details 1 and 2

  • Godly Men Shouldn't Be Weenies ...Interview by Steven Waldman, 15 Jun 2006
    God wants men to be courageous and fierce, says John Eldredge, author of "Wild at Heart." The bestselling book sees the men's movement through a Christian lens, urging men to overcome the stereotype of Jesus as a "bearded Mr. Rogers." Beliefnet's Editor in Chief spoke with Eldredge about how men can reclaim passion and adventure as part of their faith. [ infant activities by at Feedster on: childs rocking horse details

  • Professor's Genetic Tie to Genghis Khan Is History, The Chronicle: Daily News Blog, June 21, 2006
    A descendant of Genghis Khan no longer walks the campus of the University of Miami.

    Previous entries:

  • Multifaith Issues From Other Blogs - Update No. 5; Update No. 4; Update No. 3; Update No. 2; Update No. 1
  • Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    Multifaith Hall of Fame of the 21st century

    This is a virtual space designed by Dr. Mohamed Taher

    You are welcome to take the above icon (copy, download, save, share...) and feel free to display it in your blog, Website or on your own desktop.

    Name index:
    #Asghar Ali Engineer
    #Bruce B. Lawrence
    #Bruce Robinson
    #Christopher Helland
    #Debbie Herring
    #Douglas Cowan
    #JW Windland
    #Joseph Romain
    #Kevin J. Wright
    #Liz Chappel
    #Mike Ghouse
    #Paul McKenna
    # Rachel Barenblat
    #Rev Leslie Gabriel Mezei
    #Revd Marcus Braybrooke
    #Rev. William F. Fore
    #Rowan Fairgrove
    #Steven Waldman
    About this Hall:
    This Multifaith Hall of Fame is based on two facets, viz., content and context:
  • Content: Aims to facilitate in building a knowledgebase (i.e., focused on Multifaith Information Dissemination).
  • Context: Attempts to aggregate some of the significant contributions that are scattered in the cyberspace -- i.e., scattered on the surface Web (or horizontal Web) as well in the deep Web (or vertical Web). This virtual Hall is likely to grow by day, and no attempt is made to make this a finalist.

    A primary purpose of this Virtual Hall is to serve as a mind-map of the Multifaith knowledgebase. This is planned, here, in two steps, viz., first, identifying the contributions of individuals & corporate, and, second, initiating the process of documentation of all that is involved in promoting tolerance and facilitating accommodation among the diverse religious and spiritual communities in a global village.

    Hence, this knowledgebase intends to include people, themes & concepts, fundamentals, sacred spaces, symbols, etc.

  • Who-is-Who   

    Asghar Ali Engineer
    Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai - India
    Right Livelihood Honorary Award (also called the Alternate Nobel Award) for vision and work, Stockholm, Sweden, 2004
    National Communal Harmony Award, 1997 presented by Home Ministry, Govt. of India
    Inter-faith Award, 1999 (Khwaja Gharib-Un-Nawaz Welfare Centre, Bangalore)
  • E-mail:
  • A detailed profile at Wikipedia

    Bruce B. Lawrence
    Abrahamic Pluralist. Defrocked Medievalist. An Islamicist and a comparativist, is the Nancy and Jeffrey Marcus Humanities Professor and Director, Duke Islamic Studies Center, Duke University. He concerns himself with Muslim and non-Muslim religious traditions of Asia, especially Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, Since the mid-80s, he has been concerned with the interplay between religion and ideology.
  • E-mail

    Bruce Robinson
    He was motivated to organize the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance in early 1995, after becoming convinced that religious intolerance was responsible for much of the hatred, mass murder and genocide in Bosnia, and in other world hot spots.
  • e-mail:

    Christopher Helland
    Assistant Professor, Sociology of Religion
    Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University
  • e-mail:

    Debbie Herring
    This site is intended as a resource for those interested in the study of theology in cyberspace, theology of cyberspace and theology for cyberspace.
    You'll find collections of links under each of these headings. There's also a section of links concerned with research method in this environment. There are links to some of my own lectures, essays and articles on cybertheology, and a personal page. Please note that this site has no connection whatsoever with the individual who posts as "Cyber Theologian" to various Usenet groups with an anti-gay, misogynistic agenda based on biblical literalism.

  • Douglas Cowan
    Most of Prof. Cowan’s major work has focused on two principal areas of interest: (1) religion and the Internet; and (2) a variety of issues related to boundary-making and identity maintenance in assorted religious domains—that is, how religious communities establish and maintain boundaries around different aspects of human life and behavior, how those boundaries are challenged and transgressed, and how transgressions are met and resolved (if indeed they are) by religious adherents.

    JW Windland
    JW Windland (James William Lawrence Windland (1949-2014) a comparative mythologist and founder of the Encounter World Religions Centre, an internationally recognized educational organization designated as a “Gift Of Service To The World” by the Parliament of World Religions in Cape Town, South Africa. JW has more than thirty-five years experience in the study, teaching and first-hand experience of world religions. In addition to his academic background in religious studies, JW regularly attends mosques, synagogues, gurdwaras, churches and temples as a testimony to his appreciation of world religions. This background gives JW a perspective that is unique and tangible. He has genuine friendships with these practitioners, joins in their rituals and introduces thousands of people to the winnowed wisdom of these diverse communities. Mr. Windland is a specialist in interreligious dialogue and in creating comfort across religious and cultural borders. He lectures internationally to universities, churches, and service and professional organizations. JW brings a familiarity and a deep knowledge of the many religious traditions that make up the North American mosaic.
    Obituary note
  • e-mail:

    Joseph Romain
    Former Manager, Multifaith Information Services
    Ontario Multifaith Council, Toronto

    Kevin J. Wright
    A fifteen-year veteran of the travel industry, Kevin launched the very successful and high profile Religious Travel Division at Globus, the world’s leading escorted travel company. In 2005, Wright launched the country’s first-ever annual National Religious Travel Symposiums – educational seminars designed for travel and tourism professionals about the lucrative Religious Travel market. Today he is the president of the Religious Marketing Consulting Group, a team of independent professionals who assist travel and tourism companies in working with the Religious Market. Wright is also the founder and Executive Director of the World Religious Travel Association.
  • e-mail:

    Liz Chappel
    Former Executive Director, Ontario Multifaith Council, Toronto

    Mike Ghouse
    "I believes that if we can learn to accept and respecpect the God given uniqueness of each one of the 7 billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. Knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of people with a different point of view. Maintaining the equilibrium of society and the Universe is the most important value. Indeed, that may have been the un-stated, esoteric purpose of religion.
  • e-mail:

    Paul McKenna
    Paul McKenna, MA, teaches, writes and consults in the fields of world religions and interfaith dialogue. Paul collaborated with a number of people in creating the Scarboro Missions Golden Rule Poster. Currently he functions as the Interfaith Coordinator for Scarboro Missions. He is the most productive and creative force in visualization, as well in dissemination of the true colors of the Golden Rule poster, and this is a point of reference for many world's religions today.
    Scarboro Missions Interfaith Desk
  • e-mail:

    Rachel Barenblat
    Rachel Barenblat is a student in the Aleph rabbinic program. She
    has a deep interest in creating liturgy which is rooted in tradition but
    accessible to all. She is author most recently of /chaplainbook/, a
    collection of hospital chaplaincy poems from laupe house press
  • e-mail:

    Rev Leslie Gabriel Mezei
    I am a Holocaust survivor from Hungary, and an interfaith minister now. I started the Interfaith Unity Newsletter and edited it for three years, and continue as its publisher, with the Rev. Terry Weller, also an interfaith minister, as Editor.
    Rev Leslie Gabriel Mezei to receive Golden Rule Ambassador for Peace Award
    Scarboro Missions is responding to the inspiration of the Interfaith Peace Initiative in Ethiopia which is encouraging organizations around the world to recognize Golden Rule Ambassadors for Peace among their constituencies.
    Leslie Gabriel Mezei is an interfaith minister who regularly conducts The Universal Worship Service. A peace promoter and a multi-faith educator, Leslie has made a major contribution to interfaith networking in the Greater Toronto Area. (Leslie is seen here conducting a Universal Worship Service). see also: FROM MOURNING TO LIGHT
  • e-mail:

    Revd Marcus Braybrooke
    Revd Dr Marcus Braybrooke is a retired Anglican parish priest, living near Oxford , England . He has been involved in interfaith work for over forty years, especially through the World Congress of Faiths, which he joined in 1964 and of which he is now President. He is a Co-Founder of the Three Faiths Forum, Patron of the International Interfaith Centre at Oxford and a Peace Councillor.
  • e-mail:

    Rev. William F. Fore, Ph.D.,
    He is author of Mythmakers: Gospel, Culture and the Media (Friendship Press). In retirement he maintains a web site at that provides 5,700 full-text articles and books by recognized religious scholars, and enjoys doing astrophotography.
  • e-mail:

    Rowan Fairgrove
    Rowan Fairgrove is one of the Interfaith Representatives for Covenant of the Goddess. She maintains one of the oldest Multifaith religion links pages at and is the host of the podcast, Interfaith Today. .
  • e-mail:

    Steven Waldman
    Steven Waldman is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Beliefnet. Before that he was the National Editor of US News & World Report and before that the National Correspondent for Newsweek. He earlier served as editor of The Washington Monthly, an influential political magazine
  • e-mail:

    Other Halls of Fame, F.Y.I.,
  • Hall of Fame Bishop Finn
  • Evangelical Exegetes Hall of Fame
  • Faith Hall of Fame
  • Scribe Post Hall of Fame
  • 2005 Hall of Fame & Shame
  • Spaces Hall of Fame....
  • Science Fiction Hall of Fame
  • Year 9 Hall of Fame [The task given was to make a poster re Multi Faith Britain, the pros and cons of living in a multi faith society]
  • Hall of Fame Web Resources
  • Join The Faith Hall of Fame
  • The National Technology Hall of Fame Online
  • Hall of Fame: Real-World Success Stories & Marketing Strategies from People Who Are Already "Slightly Famous"
  • 21 Leaders for the 21st Century 2006
  • University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Library Hall of Fame

    See also, Halls of Fame: An International Directory, by David Blevins (McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers, 2003) available at Amazon and BarnesandNoble

    PS. Individual efforts are limited in many ways. In the selection of people, here, I have not been able to consider those whose (contributions are equally important, but their) work exists outside the sphere of cyberspace. I hope that some body (at a local, or global level) will visualize--in a physical space--such A Multifaith Hall of Fame. And, in that space, geographically map these contributions on the basis of quantitative or qualitative measures. I will be very happy to be associated with such a global mapping project. Interestingly, there is no shortage of tools and existing Web-based aggregation tools simply need people support. For instance, among the quantitative data gathering and mapping printed works is Eugene Garfield's HistCite. This helps in indexing and mapping the knowledge in any domain. Join hands and we can collectively build effective and efficient knowledgebase and the posterity would not have to build the bridges from scratch.

  • Vertical and tacit: Multifaith and Knowledge Management in Perspective

    ...knowledge resides in people: not in machines or documents. [continue reading, The duality of knowledge]

    This is my first experience to express the application of the field of Knowledge Management (KM) outside the business and coporate world. My inspiration for this comes from my own Webliography. This Webliography contains many resources and valuable documents. However, today I decided to go deeper into the domains that are less traveled by many KMs.

    Here, I would like to go with the terms vertical and tacit knowledge. My aim is to find a connection between, two facets, viz., a) the tacit knowledge and its use by Knowledge Management (KM) profession; and b), how deep is this penetration of KM in non-business circles, or precisely in everyday life. And in doing so I will focus on whatever relates to the individual with in the spiritual, religious and philosophical disciplines.

    The bottom line here is to find how a profession can aid in private and personal spaces. I don't need to say too much in this regard. This is well stated by Nancy White. And I quote:

    Recently on the KM4Dev (Knowledge Management for Development) list there has been a very interesting discussion on the impacts of major disasters such as epidemics, floods, wars, etc. on the knowledge base of a community or profession. What happens when HIV takes out a significant portion of a community's teachers, or engineers? What happens when the knowledge of local crops is lost during war, famine or natural disaster? What happens when a huge portion of a community's population does not return after a hurricane, depleting the rich knowledge of local history, culture and customs? These are huge issues.

    What is tacit knowledge?
    By definition, tacit knowledge is not easily shared. One of Polanyi's famous aphorisms is: "We know more than we can tell. Tacit knowledge consists often of habits and culture that we do not recognize in ourselves...
    Tacit knowledge is embedded in group and organizational relationships, core values, assumptions and beliefs. It is hard to identify, locate, quantify, map or value. [source]

    Netizens, generally, use the term horizontal to imply it as the surface, or more probably to do flat thinking. Whereas, vertical, for the same virtual context, is going in the deep Web, i.e., going vertically by industry or subject categories [see:].

    Vertical in Religious Connotation:
    However, from the faith perspective, there is also a religious analogy to explain the term: vertical. Most religions and spiritualities use this term to portray the connections that matter in the process. And, let me clarify:
    When Saint Thomas Church was celebrating its 175th anniversary as a parish in 1998, Bishop Grein spoke at our banquet about what he appreciated in Saint Thomas’s mission in midtown New York. He said, “It has something to do with vertical religion. And by that I mean those expressions and acts of our religion that draw us upward. Jacob’s experience at Bethel would be a good example of vertical religion, that ladder connecting heaven and earth, angels ascending and descending. There he encounters God.” [Religion: Vertical and Horizontal source]

    For Judaism, like most of Western culture, the controlling religious metaphor is vertical: religion is a matter of up and down. [An Introduction to Kabballah, source] or Google for more

    For a faithful, then, horizontal may refer to communitas, or a network of communities -- sharing works, words, messages, sermons, etc. In this context, Knowldege Managment (KM) is talking about the tangible, by and large.

    Obviously, vertical refers to the top to down (coming from the divine to the soul) or vice-versa. In this context from the knowledge management point of view, it is more so about the tacit, as a dominating source.

    One may argue and this possibility does exist. In fact, tacit may also be in horizontal communications and dialogue. For instance, inter-religious or intra-religious dialogue generates such knowledge. This possibility and overlap, is not ruled out. See for instance a citation in this context.
    It is an emerging process that has tremendous potential for transforming the way that people communicate and share tacit knowledge in everyday conversation. [source]

    Spiritual Healing:
    Spritual healing for and by people, the most wanted tool today, is related, by and large, to this tacit knowledge.

    As far as the tacit knowledge is concerned, there is a general understanding that theology can't be quantified [See: Russell Stannard, Experimenting with the Divine, Science and Theology News, May 2006].

    But, I think, there is no such constraint in measuring the qualititative aspects. In this is the room for discussion and research.

    Then, how or what matters in spiritual healing can be surmized in the following:
  • capturing this tacit knowledge
  • storing this tacit knowledge
  • sharing this tacit knowlege

    For instance, many faith communities have oral traditions and practices. The first step would be to capture this knowledge-base.

    One would also have a look at the following golden rules for tacit knowledge:

    1)suspend assumptions and certainties
    2) observe the observer
    3) listen to your listening
    4) slow down the inquiry
    5) be aware of thought
    6) befriend polarization
    For instructions about this best practice lesson go to: Dialogue, by Bill Isaacs, at

    More on this, as I find during my search, or based on the responses that I get from you all.
    Vertical & Tacit:
  • Tacit Knowledge” versus “Explicit Knowledge” Approaches to Knowledge Management Practice by Ron Sanchez,
  • Cecil Hook, “Vertical and Horizontal Worship and Service To God,”
  • “Vertical religion--that which connects with God explicitly through prayer and repentance… horizontal religion—connecting people through common suffering and celebrating…” details;
  • “vertical aspiration of faith and spirit and the horizontal service of people's needs,” details
  • Rev. Barbara Kenley, First Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Indiana. “Sermon
  • Main Research Theme: Investigation and Construction of Memory in Everyday Life, Murakami Harumi

    Knowledge Management Domains, Tacit, and intangibles:
  • tacit vs. explicit theories: the impact on our thinking and 'theorizing,' Mentor Cana at November 18, 2004
  • Knowledge Management + Exoteric-Esoteric Duality

  • Walter Van Herck, The Role of Tacit Knowledge in Religion
  • Tacit Knowledge, Encyclopedia of Science and Religion.
  • Jerry H. Gill (Eckerd College, USA), Tacit knowing and religious belief, article in pdf [requires subscription], International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion. 6 (Summer), pp. 73-88
  • Victoria Ward and Clive Holtham, The Role of Private & Public Spaces in Knowledge Management
  • Nancy White comments on: Olaf's Notebook: What is the relation between KM and inner reform?
  • Higher level KM involves more of tacit knowledge management. article in pdf, requires subscription
  • David J. Owen, and and Min-Lin E. Fang, Information-seeking behavior in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM): an online survey of faculty at a health sciences campus, J Med Libr Assoc. 2003 July; 91(3): 311–321. full text of the article
  • “Faith of the Future: Updating Religious Paradigms for the Infotech Age” by Don C. Davis The Futurist, September-October 2005. 4 Pages. Article.
    Religious leaders now have a major opportunity to accept the new knowledge and capabilities created by science and technology. The author believes that this acceptance will help guide individuals to a global consciousness and a better understanding of their responsibilities for each other and the future of the world. see Fulltext
  • Chester, G. & Neelameghan, A. (2006). "Information Professional: Knowledge and Skills Development for Serving Marginalized and Rural Communities." Webology, 3(3), Article 29. Available at:
    Keywords: Rural community; Marginalized community; Information needs study; Information professional; Education and training; Curriculum design; Knowledge and skills; Communication skills; Community knowledge management; Outreach services
  • Real-Life Knowledge Management: Lessons from the Field, Editors: Abdul Samad (Sami) Kazi & Patricia Wolf
    "Through the eighteen case studies presented in this book, we learn about practical experiences in consultancies, financial institutions, fire fighting, global project management groups, public administrations, research and development organisations, small and medium enterprises, sports centres, the aerospace sector, the automotive industry, the construction industry, the IT sector, the maritime industry, the mould and die making industry, the nuclear industry, the oil and gas industry, and the water management sector. The case studies draw from a pool of experience spanning Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Norway, South Africa, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom."
    Review: It’s not often that you get something for nothing but in this case you really can! ‘Real Life Knowledge Management – Lessons from the Field’ is a collection of 18 knowledge management case studies from across Europe and the Middle East... There are some really interesting case studies and the book is beautifully illustrated by Arye and Ron Dvir. Enjoy! Continue reading this review @ A Compound of Alchymie
  • Understanding knowledge management and information management: the need for an empirical perspective, by France Bouthillier and Kathleen Shearer, Information Research, Vol. 8 No. 1, October 2002
  • KM, IM, DM - Survival of the Fittest
  • Tolerance And Respect For All Believers

    An interesting find on the Web:

    Tolerance & Respect for all believers,
    Posted by Preet K Lidher
    (sikh net/ discussion.nsf )
    This section contains selected passages calling for tolerance and respect for believers of other religions, and for conscientious people generally. Believers are urged to treat everyone with equal respect, not to have a different standard of conduct for people of other faiths than for one's own community. Religious disputes and doctrinal conflicts are condemnable; they are often motivated by egoism disguised as piety, and by displaying enmity they do not give proper witness to one's faith. The polemicist betrays his ignorance: attached to his own partial viewpoint, he cannot see the possible validity of another's. Herein is included the famous parable, found in many sources, of the blind men and the elephant. It teaches the folly of regarding any single religious perspective as absolute and complete. Such is also the import of the Jain doctrine of Anekanta, which regards all disparate doctrines as complementary parts of a single whole.

    There is no compulsion in religion.
    1. Islam. Qur'an 2.256
    Will you then compel mankind, against their will, to believe? No soul can believe, except by the Will of God.
    2. Islam. Qur'an 10.99-100
    Those who praise their own doctrines and disparage the doctrines of others do not solve any problem.
    3. Jainism. Sutrakritanga 1.1.50
    The Buddha says, "To be attached to a certain view and to look down upon others' views as inferior--this the wise men call a fetter."
    4. Buddhism. Sutta Nipata 798

    This is from a discussion board. The same Web page has the a list of people from different faith groups. See:

    Here is the list of all the contributors of the project Continue for more

    Monday, June 05, 2006

    Multifaith Issues From Other Blogs - Update No. 5

    The best thing I found on the Web, today, has to do with religious tolerance. The first item, below, helps in realization of the fact that religious tolerance has been the need for all times and for all geographic regions--no space and no time has ever been an exemption. Even today, we need this religious tolerance badly.

  • An Australian Blog has an "INCREDIBLE QUOTE ABOUT RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE, posted by johnthompson:
    Two thousand three hundred years ago, the great king, Ashoka, united most of the Indian subcontinent and embraced the ethics of Buddha Shakyamuni in order to pacify both himself and his empire. Ashoka left his decrees in the form of inscriptions in granite slabs and pillars all over the empire that have survived to the present day. In one of them he wrote: “The king honors both the ascetics and the householders of all religions and he honors them with gifts and honors of various kinds. But the King does not value gifts and honors as much as he values this: that there should be growth in the essentials of all religions. Growth in essentials can be done in different ways, but all of them have as their root restraint in speech, that is, not praising one’s own religion or condemning the religion of others without good cause. And if there is cause for criticism, it should be done in a mild way. …Therefore contact [between religions] is good. One should listen to and respect the doctrines professed by others. The king desires that all should be well-learned in the good doctrines of other religions.” Read more...
  • Multifaith placement: A small drama nomoa(why prayer is fundamental in all circumstances). View the video
  • Race Riot Report Calls for More Inter-Faith Cooperation
    Half a decade after clashes between Asian and white communities raged through parts of the Lancashire town of Oldham, a new report has urged more inter-faith dialogue is still needed to root out racial tensions. Continue ...

  • Crusaders Changes Name in Consideration Towards Muslims
    As Christian youth organisation Crusaders celebrated their 100th anniversary Saturday, they announced their new name, ‘Urban Saints’, which will be used from 1 January 2007. more...

  • Straits Time, Praise for S'pore's multi-faith society, Aaron Low
    A country of wise and open minds, says Egyptian Muslim leader AN EMINENT Egyptian Muslim leader on his first visit to Singapore said yesterday that he was impressed by what he saw of the multiracial and multi-religious nature of society here. Read...

  • Multi Faith Prayer, posted by Eliana Gilad
  • There were Jewish, Christian and Moslem prayers along with a Sufi Zikr. I rounded out the end of the prayers with AUM-AMEN focusing on ourselves as the instrument. [Source]

  • Marriages of other faiths should be recognised, The Mercury (subscription), South Africa - 28 May 2006
    It is appalling that, 12 years after South Africa became a democracy, there should still be discrimination on religious grounds regarding the legal recognition of a marriage ("Woman's divorce battle", The Mercury, May 23). details. read the full story in another source

    Forthcoming Events:
  • Vancouver, British Columbia hosts NAINConnect 2006
    Dovetailing with the World Urban Forum and the World Peace Forum, NAINConnect 2006 promises to be an exciting event! Scheduled from June 23 – 27, 2006 at the newly renovated Vancouver School of Theology on the University of British Columbia campus, it will offer a variety of plenary and concurrent sessions that speak to the conference theme — Passion for Peace, Commitment to Change. Built into the conference schedule are opportunities for worship, celebration, and networking with NAINConnect 2006 participants as well as World Peace Forum delegates. More...

    Multifaith Eductional Vistas:
  • Religions within Communities - Theory and Practice, BA in Community Regeneration and Development, University of Bradford, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD7 1DP, UK
    Outline Syllabus:
    The central beliefs of Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Christianity Origins, history, significant movement and influences in religions Interactions and adaptation to community religions as a result of migration Contemporary developments - religion, ethnicity and social change Secularism and pluralism Strategies for survival and growth Changing role of women Impact of young people in religious development. more details Module Catalogue

    See also Multifaith Issues From Other Blogs - Update No. 4, Update No. 3, Update No. 2, Update No. 1
  • Friday, June 02, 2006

    Knowledge Management Applications in Multifaith & / or Multicultural Transactions Revisited

    Whats making news today:
  • New Technology Probes Ancient Manuscript, By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS and Costas Kantouris, Thu Jun 1, 2006
  • Greek researcher Apostolos Pierris describes a new effort to read a burnt 2,400-year-old papyrus scroll CNN
    A collection of charred scraps kept in a Greek museum's storerooms are all that remains of what archaeologists say is Europe's oldest surviving book which may hold a key to understanding early monotheistic beliefs. More than four decades after the Derveni papyrus was found in a 2,400-year-old nobleman's grave in northern Greece, researchers said Thursday they are close to uncovering new text through high-tech digital analysis from the blackened fragments left after the manuscript was burnt on its owner's funeral pyre...

    Now, archaeologist Polyxeni Veleni believes U.S. imaging and scanning techniques used to decipher the Judas Gospel which portrays Judas not as a sinister betrayer but as Jesus' confidant will considerably expand and clarify that text. [ Continue reading] See Google News and other Blogs on this news story

    Faithwise Related Stories:
  • The Internet and Knowledge Management for the Bahá’í Faith
  • United Christian Faith Ministries - Knowledge Management and the Smarter Lawyer
    Related Resources:
  • Developing and evaluating a document visualization system for information management
  • Building a community memory : Capturing knowledge creation processes in online environments. "Working through the beaded curtain" Details
  • Developing and evaluating a document visualization system for information management Details

  • The above diagram offers interesting visualization for sharing knowledge, and is worth being considered for adapting in the Multifaith & Multicultural environments.

    Community Wise Resources:

  • Knowledge-Based Community Development A Path to Success
    What exactly is knowledge-based community development? ... Should you be thinking about going the way of knowledge-based community development? ...
  • Sharing Knowledge for Community Development and Transformation: A Handbook, by Dr. Kingo J. Mchombu. Originally published in October 2002 by Oxfam Canada, this 162-page handbook has been updated and is now in its second edition (2004). [Free publication] Contents include:
    Local Content: Internal Information and Knowledge Sources . . . . . .
    Indigenous Knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Traditional Objects and Items like Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Other Locally Created Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    External Information and Knowledge Content

    See: previous item in this blog:
    Knowledge Management Applications in Multifaith & / or Multicultural Transactions
  • Thursday, June 01, 2006

    Multifaith Calendars - Visualize the Festivals, Feasts, Fasts, Festoons, etc

    Be Informed, Then Celebrate!
    Did you know that your employer has to accommodate your religious rights to celebrate whatever you wish to? Read:
    The Employer’s Duty to Provide Religious Accommodation. By P.A. Neena Gupta at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP for HRinfodesk - Canadian Payroll and Employment Law News, June 2004

    1. AMSSA - The Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies
    Through education and advocacy AMSSA seeks to create a just and equitable society for all Canadians, and The Multifaith Calendar plays an integral role in our efforts by providing a source of complete and accurate dates, times, and descriptions for over 140 religious and cultural occasions. [Calendar]

    2.BBC: - Religion & Ethics - Multifaith Calendar
    Holy days and festivals calendar
    All dates are shown using the Gregorian (Western) calendar. The calendar is accurate, but some dates may vary regionally because they are determined by the lunar calendar. Jewish festivals usually begin at sundown on the previous day. [Calendar]

    3. INTERFAITH CALENDAR: Primary sacred times for world religions
    The interfaith calendar is an open source provision of information. We believe in the peace making value of religious understanding and the importance of clear and accurate information. [Calendar]

    4. Calendar of Holidays & Festivals, Religious holidays, observances, festivals, commemorations [Calendar]

    More Online Multifaith Calendars[source]
  • Red River College in Manitoba (PDF format for each month)
  • Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly (from WNET PBS broadcasting, N.Y.) – Weekly/monthly calendar with info from the Multi-Faith calendar above.
  • Steelworkers multifaith calendar
  • Bates College, Lewiston Maine, chaplain's office

  • Printed calendars:
  • "Mystics Wheel of the Year"

  • Additional Sources for calendars by Faith (general and specific) [source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]:
  • Calendar
  • Islamic calendar
  • Hindu calendar
  • Zoroastrian calendar
  • Bahá'í calendar
  • Buddhist calendar
  • Note:
    A calendar date for any faith may require some additional sensitivity in relation to factors, such as, time and space. A few examples are given below:

  • The Hindu Calendar software, developed specifically for its Vaishnava denomination, states:
    Respected adiyens / maharajs / prabhus / matajis, please remember that the calendar of dates is only a dummy calendar and dates & breakfast times mentioned here are specifically for new Zealand in the given year may not be applicable for your longitude, latitude and time zone - check your local panjikas - which are free and available to download from the site below. The purpose of this database is to provide you will all information relevant to the events (festivals, feasts, fasts, etc). Trusting this finds you all well.
    (NOTE: the Luna based Tithis - phases of the Moon will be one day ahead for some places, ie., the USA - places West of Greenwich; while the Solar based Varams - days, will be ahead or behind depending on the Time Zone + or - from Greenwich, GMT )

  • For the information about Muslim or Islamic Calendar, see the web site:
    See also: A Brief Introduction To The Islamic (Hijri) Calendar
    For religious reasons, the beginning of a Hijri month is marked not by the start of a new moon, but by a physical (i.e., an actual human) sighting of the crescent moon at a given locale.
    The slight differences in printed Islamic calendars, worldwide, can therefore be traced to two primary factors: (1) the absence of a global criterion for first visibility; and (2) the use of different visibility criterion (or method of calculation). Weather conditions and differences in the observer's location also explain why there are sometimes differences in the observances of Islamic dates, worldwide [source]
    Further, "holidays such as Ramadan, Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha, Ashura and Mawlud Nabi are dependent on the Islamic lunar calendar and vary from year to year." [Holidays & Attractions]

  • The Seventh-day Adventist Church states:
    Calculation of sunset and sunrise times are dependent on your exact latitude, and longitude coordinates. The continental maps do not provide accurate positioning. For more accurate results, manually enter latitude and longitude (Coordiantes south of equator, and west of Greenwich Meridian, must be negative), which can be obtained from Xerox PARC Map Server.

  • See news from other corners with similar interests:
  • Multi-Faith Calendar for May 2006: Students with Informed Faith Tolerance
  • For the next week, the multifaith calendar of multicultural London looks like this: details
  • The below calendar will be removed at the end of 2005 and replaced early in 2006 with an improved multifaith calendar." Details
  • 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? details
  • The 2007 Multifaith Calendar produced by the Vancouver-based Multifaith Action Society will for the first time include the religion of Scientology amongst the world's faiths it celebrates. Details
  • As the internet continues to grow multifaith calendar web pages, we will strive to bring them to you. Details

    See also Google for Multifaith calendar OR calendars
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