Religious Leaders Compare And Contrast Faiths

March 28, 2009

Author: Colin McDonald

Source: San Antonio Express-News

A Jew, a Catholic, a Muslim and a Sikh walk into a lecture hall at the Oblate School of Theology. They have come to compare and contrast their faiths — and the length of their beards.

Harinder Singh, with the Sikh Research Institute, points out that he has the longest.

“I am wondering if this is some sort of reverse evolution,” he joked.

Singh's religion traces its roots back 500 years. The other three can claim about 4,000, 2,000 and 1,400 years of faith tradition, respectively. They all have less facial hair, but take the same humorous attitude with each other.

For nine years, the school has hosted a lecture each semester with the goal of getting people of faith to talk to other people of faith. It started with representatives of the three religions that trace their beginnings to Abraham, but has since expanded to include the Sikh faith, which is also monotheistic.

Each lecture is based on a subject chosen to highlight the differences between the faiths while pertaining to current events. The subjects have included the role of women, symbols, authority and the religion's structure.