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Opening Doors to Africa

Opening Doors to Africa

by Paul Chaffee, Editor

What we don’t know we oversimplify. As a pre-teen, I had a few desolate images of India – a really hot climate, vast arid deserts, cows wandering down city streets, and overwhelming poverty. Little more.

Donna Bollinger Tapped to Lead Religions for Peace-USA

Donna Bollinger Tapped to Lead Religions for Peace-USA

by Paul Chaffee

She was raised in a home on a dirt road in rural western North Carolina, without indoor plumbing or a telephone. The family lived off the land and had never sent a child to high school before. Asked if there was some seminal moment, a particular experience as a youngster that influenced her for the rest her life, Donna Bollinger says “Yes!” 

15 Facts on African Religions

15 Facts on African Religions

by Jacob K. Olupona

1. African traditional religion refers to the indigenous or autochthonous religions of the African people. It deals with their cosmology, ritual practices, symbols, arts, society, and so on. Because religion is a way of life, it relates to culture and society as they affect the worldview of the African people.

Interfaith Themes in Sub-Saharan African Tales (for Kids)

Interfaith Themes in Sub-Saharan African Tales (for Kids)

by Vicki Garlock

Interfaith engagement serves as a near-constant reminder that the central teachings of the world’s belief systems are more similar than different. This is especially true when working with kids. For centuries, adults have taught important life lessons through stories, handed down from generation to generation.

Despina Namwembe and Grassroots Interfaith in Africa

Despina Namwembe and Grassroots Interfaith in Africa

A TIO Interview

Despina Namwembe is a force of hope to be reckoned with when it comes to grassroots interfaith work in Africa. A social scientist with a masters in peace and conflict studies, she coordinates the work of more than 30 grassroots interfaith organizations doing different social action projects in the Great Lakes countries of Africa.

Uganda Welcomes Refugees with Hospitality and Love

Uganda Welcomes Refugees with Hospitality and Love

by Despina Namwembe

On the 31st of January, we left for the northern part of Uganda in a place called Adjumani (which borders Southern Sudan) to celebrate the Interfaith Harmony Week. We celebrated with our brothers and sisters who are now refugees in Uganda because of the insurgency going on in their country.

'We are Your Aunties, and We Are Coming for Mediation'

'We are Your Aunties, and We Are Coming for Mediation'

by Kira Zalan

Over the past three years, funded by a modest grant from the Dutch government, 16 women and the local organizations they run in Sudan have intervened in dozens of disputes and brokered solutions. In some cases, that meant building a freshwater well—in others, assistance in drafting laws and power-sharing agreements.

Doing "God's Work" in Tanzania

Doing "God's Work" in Tanzania

by Daniel Bellerose

Bumping down the red dirt roads in East Africa, my wife and I made our weekly voyage to the city of Iringa. Our driver was Eliah, a biologist, birder, and devout Christian with a kind smile and a wonderful mind. After four months in Tanzania, I had developed an interest in interfaith development and decided to ask him his opinion of my work.

When All Roads Lead to Morocco

When All Roads Lead to Morocco

by Ruth Broyde Sharone

In a quest to uncover and promote interfaith engagement around the globe, many roads have led me – unexpectedly – to Morocco, a monarchy ruled by a young king. One of the most liberal Muslim countries in the Middle East, Morocco reflects a unique culture of Arabindigenous Berber, Sub-Saharan African, and European influences and simultaneously supports a refreshing integration of ancient traditions with a modern outlook.

A Pagan's Adventures in Egypt

A Pagan's Adventures in Egypt

by Don Frew

In 2005, I attended the annual meeting of the Global Council of the United Religions Initiative. That year, it was held at a retreat center near Seoul, South Korea. One day, we took a long bus ride to the Buddhist monastery of Haensa, during which I sat with Monica Willard, URI’s representative at the United Nations.

Spiritual Exploration in Tough Times

Spiritual Exploration in Tough Times

by Paul Chaffee, Editor

Squeezing in a prayer on a comfortable day in a self-satisfied life is more difficult than turning to the Spirit (however that happens on your path) in times that seem bleak, broken, and hopeless.

Embracing the "Full Catastrophe"

Embracing the "Full Catastrophe"

by Patricia Adams Farmer

Being present, the most basic attitude for the spiritual pilgrim, is not an easy practice. For being present means not only letting the bright gladness of summer daisies seep into our souls; it also means a face-to-face encounter with the fears that haunt our days.

Four Paradoxes on the Path of Yoga

Four Paradoxes on the Path of Yoga

by Philip Goldberg

Adapting the perennial wisdom of the Yoga tradition to contemporary life and a diversity of religious and spiritual perspectives is, and always will be, a work in progress. It is also a highly individual project, with few one-size-fits-all answers to the conundrums and challenges that arise. That’s why the Upanishads call the spiritual path a razor’s edge: You have to tread carefully, with keen vision, intellectual discernment, acute intuition, and a really good sense of balance.

The Wholeness of Nature

The Wholeness of Nature

by Katie Reis

I’m not a religious person. I was baptized a Catholic but slowly realized that many of Catholicism’s beliefs and principles did not fit my own. Over the years, I have explored many different religions. After I visited Japan as part of a student exchange program about a year ago, I became fascinated with Shintoism. Shinto beliefs are encapsulated by a perspective of seeing nature and the world in all its beauty.

The Growing Edge of Interspirituality

The Growing Edge of Interspirituality

by Kurt Johnson

Br. Wayne Teasdale is famous for his “interspiritual” worldview embracing all the spiritual narratives of the world as one collective heritage, arising historically from the conscious experience of our species, and seeks to draw from these resources the tools for altruistic behaviors that can actually build a world so envisioned.

Dogma is a Danger to Us All

Dogma is a Danger to Us All

by Ruth Broyde Sharone

“Religion is dead.” I winced as if I had experienced a body blow when I heard these words, delivered by one of the keynote speakers at an interspiritual conference on the East Coast three years ago.The keynote speaker happened to be a friend of mine, a cable show producer who for decades has extoled and promoted the “spiritual-but-not-religious” movement, a growing phenomena that has challenged the value and significance of traditional religions in our times.

Bede Griffiths – Interfaith's Interspiritual Pioneer

Bede Griffiths – Interfaith's Interspiritual Pioneer

by Marcus Braybrooke

Brother Bede Griffith’s (1906-1993) life of physical and spiritual exploration has been important in the spiritual journeys of many, many people, including myself. He was one of the first spiritually resonant models for those of us engaged in interfaith activities more than 50 years ago. His life suggested that one could be spiritually grounded and thriving in more than one tradition at the same time.

Encountering Mary Magdalene

Encountering Mary Magdalene

by Kathe Schaaf and Kay Lindahl

We are living in a time of profound spiritual crisis – and opportunity. As old systems break down, it is clear patriarchy is no longer a viable option. Everywhere around us we see the harm and imbalance that has resulted from the lost wisdom of the feminine on this planet. How can we animate a powerful wave of feminine spiritual leadership that will ground and nurture a new way of being on this planet now?

Learning to Live in a Living Universe

Learning to Live in a Living Universe

by Duane Elgin

For at least 12,000 years, since the end of the ice ages, humanity has been on a journey of separation – pulling back from nature and becoming ever more differentiated, individuated, and empowered. In recent decades, we have become so dominant as a species that we are producing Earth-changing trends – global warming, species extinction, unsustainable population, massive famines, waves of migration, and more – that threaten humanity’s future.

Spiritual Exploring with Kids

Spiritual Exploring with Kids

by Vicki Garlock

Kids love to explore. And a quick look at any summer camp guide will support that claim. Last summer, kids in our area could attend Camp Explorer, Camp Eco-Explorer, Camp Adventure, Camp Discovery, Camp Run Wild, Camp Invention, or Nature Adventures, to name just a few!