Negotiating a Most Difficult Relationship: Christianity and Islam

Shepparton Interfaith Network in collaboration with Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District have conducted several observances of United Nations International Day of Tolerance. The same observance was conducted with an interfaith meeting on 17 November 2016 at Senior Citizens Centre, Welsford St, Shepparton. Noted religious commentator Paul Collins is well known to the Australian public via his work as a broadcaster, for a time as presenter of the Religion Report on Radio National as well as being a general commentator on religious affairs for radio and television and print media. Here, Paul Collins shares some reflections on Tolerance.

Read more…

211 total views, 1 views today

The Parable of the Good Muslim: Feeling Safe in Australia

goodmuslimThe parable of the Good Samaritan is a sobering challenge to people who should know better … Some right leaning Christian politicians and commentators were not satisfied when a wise man told them you should love your neighbour as yourself. “And who is my neighbour,” they asked. The wise man replied: A conservative Member of Parliament was walking back home from church …
Read more…

396 total views, 1 views today

Swami Vivekananda’s Birthday

vivek2

If India were to have patron saints, then perhaps we might say that Swami Vivekananda is the patron saint - or guru - of Inter-religious encounter, for he travelled to the Americas and participated in the inaugural Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893. We bring you excerpts from his speech on this occasion of the Birthday of Swami Vivekananda. (Vivekananda Jayanti)

... Read more...

451 total views, 1 views today

Crisis and Ambiguity

reading koran

Islamist extremists are seeking to radicalize disaffected people on the fringes of society. Yet, in a land of social cohesion, peaceful coexistence and cultural diversity, such things seem far away. It is meet and fitting that Islam be understood as a religion tolerant of ambiguity and the ability to adapt to local conditions without force. We bring you one thoughtful, simple article from a german scholar who makes this point succintly.

... Read more...

582 total views, no views today

Religion and Politics in Australia

The separation of Church and State is the basis on which Australia builds its relationship between religion and politics. This doesn’t mean that our religious beliefs and practices are not allowed to have influence and impact in the public life of our country. This article sets out how religion and politics relate in a country which accepts that there should be a separation of Church and State. ... Read more...

969 total views, no views today

ISIS – the Challenge for Australia

The declaration by the ISIS jihardist group of an Islamic State, their restoration of the Caliphate and enforcement of a harsh version of Sharia law poses a serious challenge for Muslim and non-Muslim Australians. Part of the challenge will be for Muslim and non-Mulsim Australians to engage in serious dialogue on the key issues raised by this development. ... Read more...

760 total views, 3 views today

Religion and State Schools

Dana St School

Religious education in State schools is a highly contested issue in Australia today. Part of the problem arises from the use of school time to allow religious doctrine to be taught by members of religious groups. This article argues that, distinct from religious doctrine, religious studies show the values shared by religious and secular groups. Realising that we share those values is crucial for building social cohesiveness in a multi-cultural, multi-faith society. .

Read more…

722 total views, no views today

Five Uniting Religious Principles

Values

It’s disheartening to persons of faith that something as beautiful as religion, which brings so much peace to its adherents, can equally be used to fuel hatred and conflict. But such is the case. One need only think of Sunnis and Shias in Iraq, of Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar, and of the rise of anti-Muslim parties in Europe, even in such supposed bastions of liberalism as Denmark. In this time of Ramadan, when 1.6 billion Muslims enter a special sacred season of discipline and reflection, all people of faith should confront this contradiction.

... Read more...

622 total views, no views today

Self-Reporting of Religion and Personal Practice

Census 2011

A lot of attention has been paid to the low reporting of religion in the 2011 Census of all household dwellings in Australia. The Bureau of Census reports that there is a high frequency of nones - that is, no religion reported. This raises a number of questions about the Census and what is actually practiced in Australia.

... Read more...

845 total views, no views today

Dignity, Australian Trees, The Interfaith Tree

Tree of Life

Ballarat Interfaith Network recently engaged in a nine-day celebration of the Tree of Life. The program concluded on Saturday, 23 November at the Glasshouse in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens. Chris Parnell of the Shepparton Interfaith Network gave an address on dignity, Australian Trees and the community binding nature of interfaith events.

Read more…

1,249 total views, no views today

We Promote Interfaith Skills

Germany is changing. The reality of being an immigration society is gaining acceptance. The presence of millions of people with an immigrant background also poses a challenge for the Churches. Qantara.de spoke to Dr Volker Jung, the President of the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau, about this change and how his Church is dealing with it. ... Read more...

476 total views, no views today