We know that people of different faiths need to understand each other better, since our world suffers many problems in the name of 'religion'. Anti-Semitic rhetoric, pro-Zionist actions, careless use of the term 'crusade', Islamic fundamentalists, and Muslim and anti-Muslim terrorists - all these threaten our peace.
In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis says that 'interreligious dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world'. He reminds us that with the Jews 'we believe in the one God who acts in history, and we accept his revealed word'. He says that the followers of Islam 'profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, who will judge humanity on the last day'. Overall Pope Francis encourages us 'to remove our sandals before the sacred ground of the other'.
There will be a Study Weekend entitled 'Children of Abraham - interfaith topics' on the 13th and 14th July at the Bar Convent in York. In this hospitable oasis we shall learn more about Islam and Judaism from eminently well qualified speakers. It is a rich programme with informative talks, lively discussion, prayer and companionship. All are most welcome to attend!
The weekend is in the Jesuit-inspired 'Living Theology' series, and this year is jointly sponsored by The Newman Association. There are courses from Fr Damian Howard SJ (an expert on Islam and Christian-Muslim relations) and from Student Rabbi Gabriel Webber (eager to share knowledge of Judaism 'from the inside and the outside'). Dr Geoffrey Turner will speak on the Psalms, prayers for both church and synagogue, and Ms Frances Smith will give a talk on Islamic architecture in Spain (from a time and place when there was more harmonious coexistence between the faiths). In addition - and especially relevant because of his imminent canonisation - we have a course on John Henry Newman from Dr George Herring (focusing on his transition from Anglican to Catholic).
The cost for the weekend, including lunches and refreshments, is £70 (students £35). For anyone who cannot come for the whole weekend, attendance for just one of the days is half the price. Booking is essential. For full details, and the Booking Form, please visit the website www.jesuit.org.uk/living-theology-york-2019, e-mail [email protected] or phone Patricia on 01642-645732.
[There is accommodation available in The Bar Convent Guest House (rates vary), with breakfasts served in the Café. However, accommodation must be booked separately. If you are considering staying here for the weekend, please book early on 01904-643238, and quote 'Living Theology weekend'. Rooms are only being 'held' for us until the end of April.]
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