The talks will be presented by an expert in each world faith, who will tackle questions such as: What are the core beliefs of this particular faith? At what point does it diverge from Christianity, and where are the similarities?
In a lecture given during a visit to the Diocese of Guildford in March, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said: “When we sit alongside the Jew, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, we expect to see in their humanity something that challenges and enlarges ours. We expect to receive something from their humanity as a gift to ours.
“… God has made us to learn in dialogue. And to say that I have learned from a Buddhist or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Jew about God or humanity is not to compromise where I began. Because the infinite truth ... is not a matter which can be exhausted by one set of formulae or one set of practices. I may emerge from my dialogue as confident as I have ever been ... and yet say that I’ve learned something I never dreamed of, and that my discipleship is enriched in gratitude and respect.”
Christianity and Other World Religions, organised by the Cathedral’s Institute of Anglican Studies, aims to create a platform for such dialogue, and hopefully to discern possible ways for people of each world faith act together to make Australia a better society.
The speakers are:
26 May: Naru Mangalath, whose orthodox Brahmin upbringing in South-West India introduced him to the practices of Hinduism from a very early age – leading to an abiding fascination with the religion. He moved to Perth at the age of 33 with his wife and children, where he has taken an active role in furthering awareness of Indian culture, enjoying several terms as President of the Kairali Indian cultural club.
2 June: The Venerable Ajahn Brahm, a Cambridge University physics graduate, who was ordained as a Buddhist monk in Bangkok at the age of 23, and subsequently spent nine years studying and training in the forest meditation tradition. In 1983, he co-founded the Bodhinyana Buddhist Monastery near Perth, where he is now Abbot.
9 June: Professor Samina Yasmeen, Director of the Centre for Muslim States and Societies, and lecturer in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Western Australia. She is the author of Understanding Muslim Identities (2008), and co-editor of Islam and the West: Reflections from Australia (2005).
16 June: Rabbi Dovid Freilich, Chief Rabbi of the Perth Hebrew Congregation since 1988, President of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia and head of the Jewish ecclesiastical court in Perth. In 2005 Rabbi Freilich was awarded an OAM for service to the Jewish community as a religious leader and in the fields of education and culture, as well as in the promotion of interfaith relations.
Lectures will take place in the Cathedral at 7.30pm. Entry of $15.00 standard, $10.00 concession, will be taken at the door.