E Pluribus Unum Day” at Billerica Memorial High School – March 26, 2010

On Friday, March 26, 2010, Pluralism Project Director Dr. Diana L. Eck and a panel of youth representatives from various religious traditions participated in Billerica Memorial High School’s E Pluribus Unum Day. After Dr. Eck’s keynote presentation on pluralism in America and the religious diversity of Greater Boston, panelists reflected on common misconceptions about their faith, the relationship between their faith and interreligious understanding in a pluralist society, and concluded by offering wisdom from each of their traditions for an audience of graduating high school seniors. Panelists included Alexis Gewertz (Jewish), former Pluralism Project research associate and current program associate at Combined Jewish Philanthropies; Harvard College Students Jessamin Birdsall (Christian) and Na’eel Cajee (Muslim); Inderpreet SinghUpon initiation into the Khalsa, Sikh men assume the name Singh, “Lion.”, a member of the local SikhSikhs call their tradition the “Sikh Panth,” meaning the “community (panth) of the disciples of the Guru.” The tradition reveres a lineage of ten Gurus, beginning with Guru Nanak in the 16th century and coming to a clos. with the death of Guru Gob... community; Ajahn Mangkone Sananikone, a Buddhist monkA monk is a man who renounces worldly life and is ordinarily a member of a monastic order or community, thereby undertaking a special commitment to study, service, asceticism, prayer, or disciplined spiritual practice. In the Buddhist tradition, fully ord... from WatA wat (Thai) or watt (Cambodian) is a Buddhist temple-monastic complex. Thai and Cambodian temples typically have two sections, one in which both monks and laity worship the Buddha, and the other reserved for the monastic community. The former typically i... Buddhabhavana in Westford, MA; Prof. Jason Giannetti from Regis College in Weston, MA representing Hinduism“Hindu” was originally a word given by the Greeks, then the Persians, to the land and peoples beyond the Indus or “Sindhu” River. The term “Hinduism” came into common use only in the 19th century to describe a complex and dynamic pattern of li...; and PJ Andrews (Baha’i), Pluralism Project research associate. This event was organized by the Billerica Public Schools and Billerica CARES.