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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Texting Tolerance: Computer-Mediated Interfaith Dialogue

Ally Ostrowski University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. Webology, Volume 3, Number 4, December, 2006.


As religious unrest and tension rise throughout the world, facilitating interfaith dialogue has become more important than ever. Many religious organizations have begun to include interfaith discourse into their general religious programming for members and some hold regular dialogue groups for their local population. But face to face events tend to focus only on the local community, excluding distant others who also seek to participate in interreligious discourse. The Internet, therefore, is an important medium to utilize for interfaith dialogue, and can bring isolated people together to discuss issues of difference and faith. This project finds that online interfaith information is excellent for congregations to utilize because of the relatively anonymous nature of the Internet, the disappearance of proximity limitation, the ability to become close with other participants, access to a spectrum of people who practice a particular religion, and the extra time available to ponder moderator questions and previous discussions. Using the Internet for interfaith dialogue is an important step for religious institutions and congregations. Not only are they reaching to their own members through cyberspace, but also reaching the larger population, sharing their range of religious beliefs, and participating in a global effort to improve tolerance and understanding between religious practitioners. continue reading

See also previous related posts:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Yoga instructor brings teaching to Ontario prison - Faithwise Review of the Week

Mark Fry taught yoga last week to men at the St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre. (Nicole Tomlinson, Tomlinson, News, Aug. 25 2007
A week and a half ago, Mark Fry ventured, heart racing, into a prison common room full of inmates -- and no guards.
Fry shows the triangle pose: 'A lot of them said that was the hardest thing they'd ever done, but they were happy they got through it because they felt so great.' (Nicole Tomlinson,
The Art of Living yoga instructor was greeted by the sight of 21 men sitting on the concrete floor of the St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre in Brockville, Ont.

The residents were poised on bedding they carried in from their cells. Yoga mats, Fry said, are hard to come by in prison.

"The inmates washed and swept the floor, and set the whole room up," Fry said. "Then they all brought their sheets in, and were just sitting there."

Prison nurses, who Fry said laughed at the program, looked into the room through a bubbled window, wondering how the "kooky" encounter would play out. continue reading

Otherways is a collection of essays by Andrew Perriman
  • Otherways: In search of an emerging theology

  • Religion of our country is Indianness: Shahrukh Khan
  • Make Islamic varsity a national venture: Minister, Shujaat Bukhari SRINAGAR: Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh has called for making the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) a national venture. He also accepted an offer to be a visiting professor at the university beginning October 1.
  • Cyber routes to a happy Onam
    Bangalore: The Internet and e-mail have simplified the whole process of sending seasonal greetings to one’s friends and relatives — with dozens of online resources offering a choice of designs for free use.
    This year, the web has added a video edge to Onam: allowing you to express your good wishes through a nostalgic video clipping, with music and movie to stir a Malayalee’s heart!
  • Friday, August 24, 2007

    Atheist, Naturalist, Secular humanist, Or None-of-the-above

    PS. This is about the author, Mr. Christopher Hitchens. And, "Hitchens, one of our great political pugilists, delivers the best of the recent rash of atheist manifestos." Publishers Weekly, on his God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

    "I loved it when Mr. Hitchens, prosemaster, stuck it to the smug Western cult of the Dalai Lama. But that was in 1998. Now, as Max Blumenthal reports, he’s reduced to following in the footsteps of Dalai Lama groupie Sam Harris with How Religion Poisons Everything, which I guess is supposed to be shocking. From the cover of his earlier book Letters To A Young Contrarian, the idea seems to be that he’s not afraid to be the cigarette-smoking guy in a detective coat, giving you a steely look and leveling with you about how it is. “Join me in the League of Contrarians, if you can handle the flames.” source: Behind the contrarian curve, @ John Gorenfeld’s blog
    "As a self-declared and proud "antitheist" whose most recent book carries the subtitle "How Religion Poisons Everything," Hitchens has no reason to view human beings as different from animals in any essential way. It is a stance that can lead to things like Princeton ethicist Peter Singer's support for killing severely disabled babies and the unconscious elderly. As Professor Singer has explained: "The life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog or a chimpanzee." If antitheist Hitchens asserts some inherent human special-ness, he is not only insufferable but inconsistent." Source: Jewish World Review June 4, 2007 / 18 Sivan, 5766, Man or beast? By Rabbi Avi Shafran

    Sunday, August 19, 2007

    Ontario Multifaith Council: Web Analytics Series no. 5

    Description: The Ontario Multifaith Council is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization representing the wide range of faith groups in the province of Ontario, Canada.

    Wednesday, August 15, 2007

    Thought for the day by Koans of the Zen Librarian

    A patron asked the Zen Librarian to look on MapQuest to see whether a pick-your-own apple orchard was north or south of the interstate. The Zen Librarian answered, "Although people make distinctions between north and south, in buddha-nature and on the Web south and north do not exist." source

    Monday, August 13, 2007

    Religious leaders’ love advice -- Faithwise Review of the Week

    By Jennifer Derryberry Mann If your friends-and-family plan for dating advice isn’t as helpful as it used to be, consider going to someone with better connections…namely, your religious leader. If you’re a tad too shy to ask for love-life tips from yours, let us help you with this roundtable with these experts representing Christian, Muslim and Jewish perspectives:

    Father Albert Cutié, president of Miami-based PAX Catholic Communications and author of Real Life, Real Love: Seven Paths to a Strong and Lasting Relationship
    Ameena Jandali, a founding member of the Islamic Networks Group
    Rabbi Sue Laikin Shifron, the executive director of the Hillel Center at Indiana University Continue Reading

  • Faith and punishment:
    In Islam, apostasy and faithlessness are sins, but they are not worldly crimes. Those who claim otherwise are making a mistake. There is a lot of confusion in the air regarding the thorny issue of conversion and "apostasy" in the Muslim world. From my secular position, freedom of conscience and belief are as close to sacred as my a-religious heart can muster. Despite what fanatical Muslims might claim, this is also the default Islamic position. To clear things up, Egypt's Grand Mufti, the country's second authority on Islam, Ali Goma'a, that Islam guarantees freedom of religion for its followers.
  • Toronto peace coalition brings together city & federal politicians, religious leaders & peace activist
  • Nanak looks Chinese in China-made idols
  • Spiritual Friendships and Angels Beliefnet: Beyond Blue - Therese J. Borchard
  • Does God Care About Politics? Should We? Neale Donald Walsch: Conversations with God - A blog by Neale Donald Walsch
  • Amnesty at Odds with Vatican - Current News On Beliefnet
  • Trail of Tears: History of Anti-God by reido @ Faith Commons
    "Reading "Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation", the author John Ehle comments that in part the natives were drawn to the white man for his trinkets, weaponry, technology. They did not know the cost." continue reading
  • California State Senate to open with Hindu prayer Saturday, August 11, 2007
  • Gujarat riots at Modi's behest: BJP leader Joydeep Ray, August 13, 2007 (Ahmedabad)
    In an indirect indictment for the first time, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's once trusted lieutenant Govardhan Zadaphia, home minister during the Gujarat riots, has told NDTV that he was following the chief minister's orders during the infamous riots of 2002.
  • Shshsh... Muslim! Sagarika Ghose, IBNLive
  • Wednesday, August 01, 2007

    WITNESS - Japan "nuns for a day" mix religion and role-play

    Japanese women clad in Buddhist nun outfits copy the image of the Buddha,
    By Linda Sieg, Malaysia Star - 1 Jul 2007
    KYOTO, Japan (Reuters) - No one seems to mind that I'm more familiar with Methodist hymns than Buddhist sutras when I arrive at Ryugenji temple in Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto to sample their "Buddhist Nun for a Day" experience.

    Ushered into a small room with tatami straw mat flooring, I pay about $65 for the six-hour course, write a prayer in Chinese characters on a wooden stick, and don a light-weight white kimono and tabi socks split at the toes to ease wearing sandals. continue

    The End of Harry Potter

    What Civilization Does Harry Potter Create?
    By Orson Scott Card
    Spoiler alert: This post reveals the ending of Book Seven.
    So we’ve lived in J.K. Rowling’s moral universe for a decade now, seven volumes worth. Where did she take us, and to the degree that we have been reshaped (or reaffirmed) by that moral universe, what has she made of us?
    What hath Harry Potter wrought?
    Read this @ Beliefnet: Blogalogue - Debates About Faith

    See also:

  • British School Justified In Reprimanding Teacher Who Told Children Harry Potter Author Was A Witch -- Faithwise Review of the Week
  • Indian police seize pirated Potter books
  • Related Posts with Thumbnails