Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Over the weekend I went to the inaugural Interfaith Festival at Maleny. I could only go for one of the two days, but I am so pleased I got to go to one day. The first session was a panel discussion with representatives from the three Abrahamaic faiths, Islam, Judaism and Christianity. The host was Rachel Kohn from the ABC Radio National program The Spirit of Things. She was excellent hosting the event, asking very deep and penetrating questions about the meaning of 'faith' for each of the faiths, what issues were the most pressing within each faith and so on. The responses from each of the panel were thought provoking, revealing and heartening. Each spoke of love, embracing similarities at the same time as respecting differences, the profile the media gives to fanaticism and extremism.

One of the most insightful comments for me was that to be a 'moderate' does not imply ambivalence but rather a position which is held passionately, deeply and thoughtfully. The very word implies something other than passion, but in reference to religion to be passionately 'moderate' makes sense and certainly does not conjure up images that the clashes of fanaticism do.

The last session " God is Not dead: Religion, Truth telling and Hopefulness" given by Prof Kevin Clements from the Peace and Conflict Studies Centre at the Unviersity of Queensland was also excellent... except he really needed 3 hours rather than 30 minutes. I came away feeling that there are pathways for abundant leadership and a caring community. His comment that the arts/creativity have an important part to play in the environmental circumstances for peace to be understood and gained gave me some hope that there is a purpose 'Out There' for me.

Substance Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm


Anonymous said...

Any overt atheism expressed?

Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox said...

Hi Danny,
No there was no overt atheism expressed at all...at least in the sessions I attended. However, I think an aetheist would have found the informational sessions on the rituals and practices of certain religions interesting. The more understanding the better the world is generally. I also believe that concepts of love and hope would have resonated as they exist within even if a person does not believe in God.