You know a very nice Muslim man, who always says hello to you on your morning walks...
BUT you've seen his wife wearing a burkha, and you don't understand why his religion promotes subjugation of women.
Your neighbour is a Hindu, a wonderful individual who says he believes in equality...
BUT you know he's a Brahmin and you wonder what he'd do if an 'untouchable' entered his house.
My name is Beth, and I am a facilitator with Meta-Culture Dialogics (www.meta-culture.org). Meta-Culture aims to build peaceable and sustainable communities by changing how people in conflict talk with each other.
I am writing to invite your participation in a very exciting project:
Inter-Religious Dialogue (IRD)
WHAT is the Meta-Culture IRD?
You may know the “very nice” Muslim and the “wonderful” Hindu neighbour, but you may never have felt comfortable asking them more difficult questions about their faith and how they practice it. The Meta-Culture Inter-Religious Dialogue will give you an opportunity to honestly and openly express your thoughts and feelings about difficult issues such as the Hindu caste system, how women are regarded in Islam, and religious fundamentalism. We create a space where you can safely think about and question your stereotypes and assumptions, even the ones you aren’t aware of! By participating in the Meta-Culture Inter-Relgious Dialogue, you will not only learn about other people’s religion, but also about your own.
While Meta-Culture’s professional facilitators will guide the Inter-Relgious Dialogue, the sessions will not have a preset agenda. Participants' concerns and areas of interest shape the course of the discussion. Through inquiry and deep listening, participants will deepen their understanding of each other's opinions and ideas about their own identity, the identity of “the other,” and their place in a multi-cultural
WHEN and WHERE is the IRD?
The IRD will take place over eight weeks, starting in late June and ending in early August.
There will be FOUR 3-hour dialogue sessions, held on alternating weeks throughout the 8-week period. The day and time of the dialogue sessions will be determined based on the participants’ availability.
All sessions will be held at Meta-Culture’s office in Frazer Town.
WHO are we looking for?
Meta-Culture is looking for TEN individuals to participate in the upcoming Inter-Religious Dialogue. We are looking for participants who:
· Are HINDUS or MUSLIMS living in
· Are between the ages of 30 and 65.
· Identify strongly with the religious community they belong to.
· Are practicing followers of their religion.
· Have a fair amount of influence within their community (though are not necessarily official religious leaders).
· Are open to learning about themselves and others.
· Are able to make a complete time commitment for the entire duration of the dialogue process.
Interested individuals should be aware that:
· The IRD will not focus on the theological differences between the Hindu and Muslim religions.
· The IRD is not a place for individuals from one religion to try to convince others that their religion is “right.”
· Participants in the IRD will be expected to attend all four 3-hour dialogue sessions.
· Participants in the IRD will be expected to participate in three ½ hour one-on-one interview sessions with a Meta-Culture staff person (before, mid-way through, and after the dialogue sessions) so that Meta-Culture can monitor and evaluate the process.
How can you get involved?
If you or someone you know is eligible for and interested in becoming a participant in the Meta-Culture Inter Religious Dialogue, please respond directly to this e-mail. Please send us your:
· Full name
· Religious affiliation/community
· E-mail address
· Phone number
· A brief statement about why you want to participate in the IRD
Expressing your interest in the IRD does not mean you will be selected to participate. Meta-Culture will review the e-mails we receive and select those individuals who we will consider for participation in the IRD. If you are among the individuals we are considering, we will be in touch with you by phone to learn more about you and your interest in participating. We will then make our final selection of participants.
We believe you will enjoy and benefit from the experience of participating in the Meta-Culture Inter-Religious Dialogue. We look forward to hearing from you.