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Speaker Karen Armstrong

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This is an extraordinary evening Karen Armstrong. Scholar/Author. Extraordinary because our major task, whatever our faith or lack of religious faith, is to build a global community where people can live together in peace and respect. Now for years, because of a difficult religious experience of my own I had thought that religion was essentially divisive that it was one of the causes of conflict But I've spent the last twenty-five years studying all the religious traditions of the world. And I've found that at their heart, they all have the same objective often being summed up by the golden rule: Do not do unto others what you would not like them to do to you. [Crowd noises] Look into your own heart, discover what it is that gives you pain and then refuse unto any circumstance what so ever to inflict that pain on anybody else. That, and not belief -- Belief is a very recent western preoccupation with religion. But the ideal of compassion, the ability to feel with the other that's what we've been doing tonight. One of the major ways of entering into the mind of others these days is film. Which gets us beneath the headlines and into the minds and hearts of others. And every single one of the major world faiths insists that it is not sufficient simply to confine your faith to your own group. You must take it out to everybody. As one the Chinese sages said, "You must have Jian Ai; concern for everybody." The poet Wordsworth had a wonderful phrase. He said, "There are in our existence spots of time. Moments which stay with us always which we use as a wellspring which we go back to in times of trouble, in times of joy that act as a kind of symbol as to where we are and where we're going." Let tonight be such a spot of time for all of us. Whatever our faith, or lack of it. That tonight, we sat down together right through the world and spent our time entering into the mind and heart of the other and this experience can change the world.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 11 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Public Domain
Genre: None
Views: 529
Posted by: pangea on May 14, 2008

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