First Zoroastrian speaker coming to Jesuit centre

 The De Nobili Centre in Southall, Middlesex, will welcome its first guest from the Zoroastrian faith this spring. Ervad Rustom Bhedwar will be speaking at the monthly meeting held at the Jesuit-run De Nobili Dialogue Centre on Sunday, May 1. According to Mary Boyce, in her book Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, "Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed world-religions, and it has probably had more influence on mankind, directly and indirectly, than any other single faith." Fr Michael Barnes SJ, the Director of the Centre, visited an ancient Zoroastrian site in Iran last year. "There was something exceptionally poignant about visiting this now-deserted fire temple on top of a barren hill north of Isfahan," he said. "A little later we went to the old Jewish quarter of the city and there, in one of the oldest mosques, we were shown Jewish, Christian and Muslim symbols set by side on the walls. No sign there of the Zoroastrians but their influence remains through the powerful effect they had on the development of key ideas -prophecy, angels, devils, judgement, the battle between good and evil - shared by the three later monotheistic traditions." This regular event at De Nobili House in Southall takes place on the first Sunday of every month, from October to July, from 2.30pm until 4.30pm. Other speakers at the De Nobili Centre over the next few months will be Daljit Singh Aubbey from the Ramgarhia Sabha in Southall who will be talking about passing on the Sikh tradition (6 March); Shaunaka Rishi Das from the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies (3 April); and Rabbi Rachel Montagu from the Council of Christians and Jews (5 June). Source: Jesuit Communications

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