Thursday, November 22, 2012

11th Stanley Samartha Memnorial Lecture

BIRD & Y,s Men International jointly organise the 11th Samartha Memorial Lecture on 30 Nov. 2012 at the United Theological College Bangalore. Rev. Dr. Israel Selvanayagam will delover the lecture on COMMITMENT & OPENNESS IN A MULTI-FAITH CONTEXT

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 has attempted to be a forum for people of different religions to talk things over in times of strife and peace over the last decade. Towards that end it has been organizing seminars, consultations, panel discussions and dialogues. The annual lecture series started by BIRD in 2001 in memory of Rev. Dr Stanley Samartha who lived his Christian faith and practice in harmony with his Hindu tradition and culture during his life-time, remains the signature event of its inter-faith activities. .BIRD has organized ten such lectures since 2001

Dr. Samartha is known as the “Christian Prophet of Religious Pluralism”.. As a Christian and presbyter of the Church of South India, Samartha was deeply committed to the Christian faith and loyal to his church. But within the freedom given by his faith and church he exercised courage for dialogue with people of other faiths with a spirit, mood and attitude of love. At the same time he was against woolly liberalism and indifference.

Samartha was Professor of History of religions and Philosophy in this College (UTC) from1960-66 and Principal of Serampore College from 1966-68.. From 1968 to 1980 Samartha served the World Council of Churches in Geneva as the first Director of the sub-unit for Dialogue with People of Living Faiths and ideologies. He has written and spoken extensively on inter-faith Dialogue and Christology. Some of his well-known works are: The Hindu Response to the Unbound Christ (1974) Courage for Dialogue(1981) and One Christ- Many Religions(1991).

Impressed by the activities of BIRD, Ys Men Intl has joined hands with BIRD to organize the 11th edition of the Samartha Memorial Lecture on 30 Nov. 2012. The organizers did not have a second thought on who should deliver the lecture this year. And, who is better qualified than Rev. Dr.Israel Selvanayagam, a true Shishya of Samartha to deliver the lecture this time?

He is presently the Professor, Dept of Religions, Gurukul Theological College and Research Institute, Chennai. The Rev Dr Israel Selvanayagam is a presbyter of the Church of South India, from Kanyakumari Diocese. He has taught at Tamilnadu Theological Seminary Madurai, Wesley College Bristol, Queen's College and United College of the Ascension Birmingham and United Theological College Bangalore with various additional responsibilities in these institutions. He has written extensively both in Tamil and English. His latest book in English is Being Evangelical and Dialogical: A Healthy Balance in Multifaith Context , is dedicated to Stanley Samartha.

Those who delivered the previous lectures were: Dr. David Frawley, Sir Mark Tully and: Arun Shourie, M.J.Akbar, Justice K.T.Thomas and Dr. Hans Ucko, the Mar Thoma Metropolitan Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysotom, Dr. M.V. Nadkarni, Dr. C.T. Kurien and Francois Gautier.

We are now looking forward to an excellent and thought provoking presentation on the theme Commitment and Openness in a Multi-faith Context from Dr. Selvanayagam on 30 November 2012