Religious leaders address God, war and much more
August 22, 2005
The Cordoba Initiative, KAJX Aspen Public Radio and CLAL – the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership – are co-sponsoring a panel discussion titled “When God Goes to War: Good, Evil & the Problem of ‘The Other'” at 5:15 p.m. today in Paepcke AuditoriumJohn Bennett, co-executive director of the Cordoba Initiative, said, “Our purpose is to look at how the different Abrahamic religions define good and evil and how these perceptions affect politics, nationalism and conflict.”To explore similarities and differences in how the Abrahamic faith traditions view good and evil – and how these perceptions affect the world – the Cordoba Initiative is convening a panel of religious leaders and scholars for a dialogue to address important questions: How have Jews, Christians and Muslims traditionally thought of good and evil? What constitutes an “evil” nation? Why is the concept that “God is on our side” rooted so deeply in each of our Abrahamic faith traditions? Could the link between religion and violence ever be severed? By what means might civilization overcome its fear of “the other” – a different tribe, race or nation about which little is known but onto which many fears are projected? Since each religion represents its own view of “absolute truth,” how do different cultures live with one another in an ever-smaller world when such truths occasionally collide?The event is free and open to the public. Panelists will include Rabbi Bradley Hirshield, vice president of CLAL; Dr. Elaine Pagels, Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University and the author of a number of best-selling books, including “The Gnostic Gospels”; Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chair of the Cordoba Initiative and imam of Masjid Al-Farah, a New York City mosque 12 blocks from ground zero; and Pastor Steve Woodrow, a Canadian-born minister who grew up in Texas and is pastor at First Baptist Church in Aspen.