PRESS RELEASE 01 Oct. 2011
Rev. Dr. Stanley Samartha Memorial Lecture
The 10th Stanley Samartha Memorial Lecture due to be held in October 2011 stands postponed to January 2012 due to unavoidable circumstances. The date, time and name of the speaker will be announced in due course.
Bangalore Initiative for Religious Dialogue (BIRD) is a low profile organization formed in 2001, by a small group of Hindus, Muslims and Christians in Bangalore, to promote inter-faith amity in line with our native wisdom of promoting inclusiveness for preserving India's religious diversity. BIRD organizes seminars, consultations, panel discussions and dialogues and an annual lecture series in memory of Rev. Dr Stanley Samartha, the first Director of the Inter-Faith Dialogue Programme of the World Council of Churches, Geneva. It is the signature event of BIRD’s inter-faith activities undertaken in the cosmopolitan city of Bangalore. It has organized nine such lectures so far.
Sir Mark Tully, former BBC’s India chief delivered the ninth Samartha Memorial lecture on 7 October 2010 while Mr. Arun Shourie, MP, and celebrated journalist and author, delivered the eighth Lecture in October 2009 . He spoke on “Rethinking Religions”.
The seventh lecture was delivered by Mr. M.J. Akbar, well known journalist and author, presently editor of India Today. The theme was: “The Power of Religion vs. the Religion of Power”.
Other speakers who delivered the lectures in the past were: Justice K.T. Thomas, former Judge of Supreme Court of India (2007), Dr. Hans Ucko, director of inter-faith dialogue division at the World Council of Churches (2006), Mar Thoma Metropolitan Bishop Philipose Mar Chrysostom (2005), Prof. M.V. Nadkarni, former Vice Chancellor(2004), Dr. C.T.Kurien, economist and Director Emeritus of Madras Inst. of Dev. Studies (2003) and Mr. Francois Gautier, author and former political correspondent of Le Fegura (2001). They spoke respectively on: “The Right to Convert & the Indian Constitution”, “Towards and Ethical Code of Conduct”, “Courage for Dialogue”, “Religion in the 21st Century: A Perspective of Hope”, “Communal Harmony- A Societal Perspective” and “The Need for Inter-Religious Dialogue’