The interfaith school is a collaborative program between Institute for Inter-Faith Dialogue in Indonesia (Interfidei) and the Faculty of Theology of Sanata Dharma University, the Faculty of Theology, Duta Wacana Christian University, and the Faculty of Ushuluddin and Islamic Thought, UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta. The School will open with a Public Lecture on Saturday, February 12, 2022, 8:30 – 12:00 (Jakarta time).
We are facing an environmental crisis unfolding before our eyes and are even experiencing it directly and indirectly. From increasingly unhealthy air pollution to various natural disasters such as floods, tidal waves, Cyclone Seroja, rising sea levels in coastal areas, landslides, the extinction of various species of fishes and sea creatures, animals on land, and birds in the air forced from their habitats that are disappearing due to forest fires, deforestation and exploitation in the name of development, etc.
All of this is clearly happening around the world, including in various regions in Indonesia. Moreover, due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has confined us for the last two years, we have not been able to carry out our activities optimally. This includes conducting worship services by all religions and faiths that usually draw people in fantastic numbers. This is sometimes a measure of pride in the “success” of religious life when in fact quality of devotion and meaning is minimal.
Are we not called to hasten to save the Earth for life and existence now, tomorrow, and the future? Rightly understood, every religion and traditional belief systems were revealed and exist on this earth. These were embraced and developed by human beings with the duty and responsibility to guard and nurture God’s gift so that it becomes a home for all humanity and God’s creation, full of spiritual beauty and peace.
The only cause of the various manifestations of climate change mentioned above — greed; egoism; thoughts, conscience and behaviours that do not respect our shared life in which humans, the natural environment, and God give life to each other — is humans. Therefore, we need to observe the meaning of religion and of being religious, not just diligently performing rituals but empty of purpose; and also not just focusing on science that has no meaning for wholistic life.
Now is the time to build bridge and create dialogue between the meaning of religion (and being religious) and science. It cannot be otherwise! All parties must be open to joint dialogue and concrete actions that resist greed, egoism, and human behaviour that is uncontrollable and weakens the importance of fundamental life values. We must join together to nurture these fundamental values: an awareness of the ethics of cooperative living, not being greedy, not being egotistical, and open to a life of mutual respect and civility that supports efforts to create a healthy earth. All of this should become a reality, not only in words spoken at meetings, in discussions, and from the pulpits of religions and faiths; and not just written ideas, but realized in concrete actions that prevent and overcome these problems on behalf of holistic change.
This concrete action is not viewed as something to be carried out by only one nation, one race, ethnicity, religion, generation, or gender; nor only by scientists, the government, civil society, investors, or by any single and exclusive group. It must be carried out collectively by everyone. This is a joint responsibility for life together that is healthy, civilized, and peaceful.
In this case, the fundamental questions are: what and where is the role of religious and faith institutions (religious leaders, notable individuals, and adherents who include, we note, government officials, the social elite, investors, civil society, and the whole community). In that context, the 13th Interfaith School adopts the theme: “Religion and Climate Change” with a focus on how “Interfaith Youth Movement Faces the Challenge of Climate Change”.
Because this journey of joint struggle is still long, we must begin now and not delay any longer! This earth needs encounters that blend awareness, knowledge, and concrete joint actions so that it can be saved from various calamities for our common life and existence, now, tomorrow, and in the future.
With this letter we invite participants of the 13th Interfaith School and all friends who are interested in knowing and understanding this issue to the seminar for the opening of this year’s school that will be conducted:
Day/Date : Saturday, February 12, 2022
Time : 08.30—12.00 WIB (Jakarta time)
Theme : Religion and Climate Change
Sub-theme : Interfaith Youth Movement Faces the Challenge of Climate Change
Keynote Speaker 1 : Leonard Simanjuntak (Greenpeace Indonesia, Jakarta)
Keynote Speaker 2 : Nissa Wargadipura (Caretaker at Ath Thaariq Ecology Islamic Boarding School, Garut)
Moderator : Rev. Dr. Wahyu Nugroho, M.A. (Dean of Students, Alumnae, and Cooperation at Duta Wacana Christian University)
Registration Link : https://tinyurl.com/StudiumGeneraleSLI-13
Zoom Meeting Link : https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88168720511?pwd=NThvM09nZktMaGg5cVk3bHNFQlVkZz09
Meeting ID : 881 6872 0511
Passcode : damai2022
Open for Public and Free