Christian Ministry in Multi-Religious America: Boston Workshop (2009)

Christian Ministry in Multi-Religious America: Boston Workshop offered an opportunity for Boston-based academics, ministers, ministers-in-training, and other leaders to develop tools for a Christian ministry that is effectively grounded in the complex issues and urgent realities of an increasingly multi-religious city.

This workshop, made possible through generous funding from the Louisville Institute and the Carpenter Foundation, sought to offer participants a way to engage directly with the religious diversity of greater Boston, and to enrich their own ministries and work through these encounters. The workshop took place over the course of an academic year, gathering participants three times for site visits. The Pluralism Project served as a liaison to the communities with whom deep relationships have been built over the years through the World Religions in Boston project, organizing site visits and opportunities for theological reflection.

Workshops

November 8, 2009: Sri Lakshmi Temple 

Schedule

8:00 AM Continental breakfast
8:15 AM Introduction by Dr. Diana Eck
9:00 AM Departure by bus for Sri Lakshmi Temple
9:40 AM Welcome at Sri Lakshmi Temple
10:00 AM Sri Venkateshwara Abhishekam Pooja
1:00 PM Discussion with hosts
2:00 PM Departure by bus for Harvard
2:40 PM Theological reflection led by Dr. Diana Eck and Dr. Francis X. Clooney
4:00 PM Small groups
5:00 PM Conclusion

Preparatory Materials

  • Eck, Diana L. “Afterword: Seeing the Divine Image in America” in Darsan: Seeing the Divine Image in India. New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.
  • On Common Ground: World Religions in America: Hinduism
  • Pluralism Project Introduction to Hinduism in Boston
  • Pluralism Project Profile of Sri Lakshmi Temple
  • Pluralism Project Etiquette Guidelines by Tradition
  • Tiruvenkatam Hymns: Two songs of the Vaisnava saint Satakopan, set at Tiruvenkatam, the holy temple and mountain in current day Andhra Pradesh. Francis X Clooney, SJ.
  • Clooney, Francis X., SJ. “Chapter 3: The Way of Radical Faith: the Dvaya Mantra,” in The Truth, the Way, the Life: Christian Commentary on the Three Holy Mantras of the Srivaisnava Hindus. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.

Participant Reflections

January 9, 2010: Islamic Society of Greater Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC)

Schedule

Location: Thompson Room, Barker Center, Harvard University
10:00 AM Introduction by Dr. Diana Eck
11:30 AM Departure by bus for Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
12:00 PM Welcome by hosts Bilal Kaleem and Elizabeth Dann
1:00 PM Jumm’ah (Friday Prayers)
2:00 PM Tour of facilty
3:00 PM Departure by bus for Harvard
3:30 PM Theological reflection led by Dr. Eck
4:30 PM Small groups
5:00 PM Conclusion

Preparatory Materials

On Common Ground: World Religions in America: Islam
Pluralism Project Introduction to Islam in Boston
Pluralism Project Profile of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
Pluralism Project Etiquette Tips by Tradition
“A Common Word Between Us and You”
“Learning to Explore Love Together: Suggestions for Churches Responding to ‘A Common Word’” (World Council of Churches)
“An Ecumenical Response to ‘A Common Word Between Us and You’ by the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA” (National Council of Churches)

March 7, 2010: New England Gurdwara Sahib

Schedule

Location: Thompson Room, Barker Center, Harvard University
9:00 AM Introduction by Dr. Diana Eck
10:00 AM Departure by bus for Milford Gurdwara Sahib
11:00 AM Diwan followed by langar
2:30 PM Departure by bus for Harvard
3:30 PM Theological reflection led by Dr. Eck
5:00 PM Conclusion

Preparatory Materials

On Common Ground: World Religions in America: Sikhism
Pluralism Project Introduction to Sikhism in Boston
Pluralism Project Profile of the New England Sikh Study Circle
Pluralism Project Etiquette Tips by Tradition
“Your Guide to Our Gurdwara” by the New England Sikh Study Circle

Related Materials from the World Council of Churches

WCC Inter-Religious Dialogue and Cooperation Programme
“Current Dialogue” Magazine
“Learning to Explore Love Together: Suggestions to the Churches for Responding to ‘A Common World’”
“Plenary Address on Christian Identity and Religious Plurality” by Rowan Williams at the 2006 Assembly in Porto Alegre, Brazil
“Reflections on International and Global Multifaith Initiatives” by Hans Ucko
“Religious Plurality and Christian Self-Understanding” Study Document
“My Neighbor’s Faith and Mine” Study Guide
“Upholding Common Human Values and Respecting Differences” by Kathryn Lohre
“Minute on Our Religious Imperative to Foster Sensitivity and Reconciliation in Shifting Society”

Related Materials from the National Council of Churches

NCC Interfaith Relations Commission
Interfaith Relations Commission Handbook 2008
An Ecumenical Response to “A Common Word Between Me and You” by the NCC
“Getting to Know Neighbors of Other Faiths: A Theological Rationale for Interfaith Relationships”
“Interfaith Relations and the Churches: A Policy Statement of the NCC”

Other Related Materials
“Religious Pluralism on the Ground and in the Pulpit” by Diana L. Eck
Pluralism Sunday