Atmasiddhi Shastra (Six Spiritual Truths of the Soul) is the work of Srimad Rajchandra of India. It is a simple question-and answer work that engages a conversation between a doubter and a teacher (a guru) about the nature of the soul. Rajchandra was guru to Mahatma Gandhi. The book has forewords given by the XIV Dalai Lama and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
The Elijah institute announces a new book in the Interreligious Reflections series, presenting inspirational leaders in Interreligious relations. This volume was conceived as a tribute to Elijah board member and contemporary interreligious hero, Rabbi David Rosen, on the occasion of his seventieth birthday.
On this day of the Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashannah – Religions for Peace Australia greets the Jewish Community with Shanah Tovah!!!, (meaning ‘have a good year). To celebrate Rosh Hashannah in time of Lockdown, we bring you the writing of one Jewish Rabbi who found his spirits uplifted with two books … during lockdown.
The much-anticipated book by renowned businessman, global philanthropist and peacebuilder, Steve Killelea, A.M., offers a new and accessible understanding of peace: one that is measureable, resilient and above all, achievable in a time of chaos.
Jo Thorneley is an Australian writer and the host of a comic podcast, ‘Zealot’. She asserts that she has an obsession about cults, and that is, no doubt, correct. Her book about the zealots who generally establish and profit in one way or another from cults is written in a witty, colloquial, stream-of-consciousness style. It aims to be – and succeeds in being – highly entertaining. It has no pretensions towards being learned or scholarly, but it is well researched and beguilingly thought-provoking.
Anyone involved in Buddhism today will nod in agreement upon hearing the claim that there has been a surprising number of Jews in modern Western Buddhism. This is particularly true for Buddhism in North America: not only has Buddhism been a popular choice among people from a Jewish background, but a seemingly disproportionate number have become leading lights of Western Buddhism, and have played a major role in shaping its evolution. It is quite natural to ask the question, why? What’s the connection?
I have a cynical friend who claims that there have been more books written about the Holocaust than there were people who perished in it. That is, no doubt, an exaggeration, but it is true that most of the books on this subject sound very much alike. Joshua Hammerman’s Embracing Auschwitz (Ben Yehuda Press) deserves our attention because it is by far the most original book on this subject that has come along in a great many years.
In our increasingly secular world, holy texts are at best seen as irrelevant, and at worst as an excuse to incite violence, hatred and division. So what value, if any, can scripture hold for us today? And if our world no longer seems compatible with scripture, is it perhaps because its original purpose has become lost? Read with Karen Armstrong as she explores the value of scripture in an increasingly secularised world and ponders whether we’ve lost our ability to engage with faith texts as spiritual tools rather than binding rules.
The prospects for peace in Afghanistan, dialogue between Washington and Tehran, the UN’s bid to stabilise nuclear-armed Pakistan, understanding the largest Muslim minority in the world’s largest democracy in India, or the largest Muslim population in the world in Indonesia – all require some knowledge of the traditional religious sectors in these countries and of what connection traditional religious schooling has (or not) to their geopolitical situations. Here, Adis Dujerija of Griffith University, Queensland, writes one book review.
Working with religion and religious actors of various hues and shapes is meant to be a humbling experience. At best, an opportunity to learn how those entities and bodies which have long predated secular establishments, served countless people, and continue to do so. At worst, it is meant to be a means of questioning assumptions about all worldviews, and the actions taken based on them.
The Alliance is a network of likeminded countries fully committed to advancing freedom of religion or belief around the world. (Religions for Peace International is a foundation member of the Alliance, hence, Religions for Peace Australia are also members of the Alliance.)
The Alliance is predicated on the idea more must be done to protect members of religious minority groups and combat discrimination and persecution based on religion or belief. The Alliance intends to advocate for freedom of religion or belief for all, which includes the right of individuals to hold any belief or none, to change religion or belief and to manifest religion or belief, either alone or in community with others, in worship, observance, practice and teaching. The Alliance is intended to bring together senior government representatives to discuss actions their nations can take together to promote respect for freedom of religion or belief and protect members of religious minority groups worldwide. Alliance members should be committed to the following principles and commitments and be willing to publicly and privately object to abuses, wherever they might occur.
The title of Professor Dov Waxman’s new book, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know, hides an important tension that gets explained in the course of reading this book, which addresses a most complex and confusing topic.
The conflict is not unitary. The make-up of the two sides has changed over time. From 1948-1972, it was known as the “Arab-Israeli” conflict. It involved the entire region and was not solely focused on the Palestinian question; the surrounding Arab states had territorial goals as well.
At interfaith gatherings Buddhists are wheeled out to present their views on everything from nuclear weapons to the ordination of women and then scheduled to drone Tibetan chants at the evening slot for collective worship. This transformation of Buddhism into a religion obscures and distorts the encounter of the dharma with contemporary agnostic culture. The dharma in fact might well have more in common with Godless secularism than with the bastions of religion.
The so-called War on Terror, in its many incarnations, has always been a war with gender at its heart. Once regarded as helpless victims waiting to be rescued, Muslim women are now widely regarded by both Muslim and non-Muslim disciplinarians as a potential threat to be kept under control. How did this shift in attitudes come about? Read about the conversations with Australian women the author has undertaken.
Religions are often thought of as distinct and competing traditions, but the phenomenon of people belonging to multiple religious traditions is widespread, according to a World Council of Churches (WCC) publication presented during the European Academy of Religion in Bologna, Italy.
In her autobiography, Josie Lacey tells of a remarkable life and the influence her ancestors had upon her. Some of her family were trapped in the Holocaust; others, like Josie, migrated to Australia. Here, Josie tells of her almost breathless life, with no time to lose.
I have, over the decades, read countless English translations of the Qur’an by many notable scholars, all of whom endeavoured to bring forth the meaning of the Qur’an in comprehensible English. The Majestic Qur’an: A Plain English Translation is translated by Dr Musharraf Hussain, a British Pakistani scholar with over 40 years expertise in Urdu translation of the Qur’an.
Secretary General of Religions for Peace International, Dr William Vendley gives one statement in response to the perversion of the innocence of the child covered up by religious authorities.