"If I was allowed another life I would go to all the places of God's Earth. What better way to worship God than to look on all his works?" from The Chains of Heaven: an Ethiopian Romance Philip Marsden
Thursday, 20 February 2014
Coexist House and interfaith tolerance
Not long ago in this blog I wrote about religious tolerance and the importance of education; how respect of different faiths comes from understanding them. For that we need more faith education.
Now I'm fascinated by a venture I read about last weekend in The Times (Michael Binyon: In our global era it is just not viable to "not do God." February 15th p. 85)
parish church Lyme Regis
Basically there is a move afoot to found a centre in London, with international outreach, for the enhancement of the public understanding of religions - from whence interfaith tolerance and respect will come.
Of course there are all sorts of hurdles to get over before such a project will become reality, not least of which are the issues of funding, and staffing, and a feasibility study is needed before this will get off the ground. But the idea is supported by the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Inner Temple, and the Coexist Foundation, for a start, as well as Professor David Ford, director of the Cambridge Interfaith Programme, (also mentioned in previous blogs), which has been developing this idea over several years.
The centre would be called Coexist House, and the intention is for it to hold lectures, conferences and exhibitions, and act as a resource for all information relating to all faiths.
What a wonderful project if this can get off the ground. How necessary this is in our multicultural and multi faith societies where respect for each others' beliefs so often seems so dangerously lacking.
Michael Binyon tells us that the scheme has "the cautious support of the Bishop of London … and would seek to work with the new Chief Rabbi, senior muslim scholars, leaders of a range of traditions, and politicians."
Bring it on!