Thursday, March 4, 2010

Watch the Summit of Christian-Muslim Religious Leaders - Final Words

The Christian-Muslim Summit of religious leaders converged at the Washington National Cathedral Monday to Wednesday, March 1-3, 2010 and gave final presentations in this webcast.

In his Introduction, the Very Reverend Samuel T. Lloyd III introduced the Washington National Cathedral as a House of Prayer for all people, and reiterated his earlier descriptions of these "talks of reconciliation" as "the cornerstone" of all three holy books - Christian, Hebrew and the Koran - and saw the conference as "sacred work" to "restore relationships" with God and among humans. He called the restoration of religious relationships a "labor with God to heal the torn fabric of our world." The idea of this Summit is to create "islands of hope and promise" from which much healing and growth will come.

The talks in the program addressed the following questions:

1) How can religious leaders collaborate to support the diplomatic and political efforts to achieve peace and reconciliation?
2) How are religions and justice and peace inter-related? How can they reinforce each other?
3) a)In what ways can the interpretation of one's own religion trigger fundamentalism?
---b)In what ways can perceptions of another religion promote and/or condone violence?
---c)Are there ways to avoid such exploitation?
4) In what ways can peace be promoted by the practice of religion in the context of current social and political life?

Thereafter follows a challenging and stimulating discussion to expand understanding and commitment. The discussion and webcast present a rare opportunity to watch this public convergence of these leaders:

* Ayatollah Doctor Ahmad Iravani, President of the Center for the Study of Islam and the Middle East, Research Scholar, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.; Shi’a Muslim
* Professor Ahmad El Tayeb, President of Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt; representing the Sunni Muslim tradition
* His Eminence Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Vatican
* The Right Reverend John Bryson Chane, Episcopal bishop of Washington

They were joined by twenty additional leaders to represent civic, governmental and religious organizations of "unparalleled global impact and outreach."

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