Wednesday, February 11, 2009

“We The People” Dialogue Series, InterAct Cleveland

Press Release from InterAct Cleveland

“We The People” Dialogue Series Examines Religion within Civic Scope

“America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears and true to our founding documents.” - President Obama

Cleveland: February 3, 2009.

In her book, A New Religious America: How a “Christian Country” Has Become the World’s Most Religiously Diverse Nation, Dr. Diana Eck, director of The Pluralism Project at Harvard University asks “Who do we mean when we invoke the first words of our Constitution, ‘We the people of the United States of America’? Who do we mean when we say ‘we’?” InterAct Cleveland and the interreligious community will respond to this and other clarifying questions in a series of dialogues in 2009 addressing religious diversity in America.

The first dialogue, We the People: “What difference does difference make?” is scheduled for Sunday, February 15, from 3 to 5:30 pm at Trinity Commons (2230 Euclid Ave. with parking lot entrance on Prospect Ave.). Sudarshan Sathe of the Shiva Vishnu Temple will lead the dialogue as the primary presenter answering the dialogue’s main question, “What are the traditional teachings, and range of other beliefs, within your faith tradition concerning the proper relationship with those who differ in race or gender, in culture, politics or faith?” Panelists representing the Buddhist, Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith traditions are the following respectively: Sensei Dean Williams from the Jijuyu-ji Zen Sangha of Cleveland, Dr. George Matejka of Ursuline College, Rabbi Alan Lettofsky of Beth Israel- The West Temple, and Sister Suna Aziz of the Islamic Center of Cleveland.

There will be two additional dialogues will be presented in the spring and summer this year:
April, 2009--We the People: “What is the meaning of life and progress?” with Sensei Dean Williams
Late June, 2009--We the People: “What is the place of religion in civil/civic arena/society?” with Dr. Ramez Islambouli

The series will include a presentation on a specific question posed by a member of one of the growing minority traditions in our community. Each presentation will be followed by a brief response from representatives of three or four other religious traditions, followed by small group discussions before returning to the larger audience for a question and answer session.

All dialogues are free and open to the public. Registration is not required. For more information please contact InterAct Cleveland at (216) 241-0230 or partners@interactcleveland.org. Suggested donation $5.

InterReligious Partners in Action of Greater Cleveland (InterAct Cleveland) promotes mutual understanding and appreciation of diverse religious beliefs and practices, as well as discovery of the values and beliefs shared by many religious traditions. InterAct Cleveland members actively engage with one another to help shape positive responses to the challenges and opportunities facing Greater Cleveland, including religious diversity itself. InterAct Cleveland: Showing how the love, growing out of religious belief, can change the world.

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