4 March 2004,The Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh
Welcome Letter from the organizers.
Photos from the
Arrival and registration. Tea available.
Hall Room: 9.30-9.35: Welcome and Introduction: Rev Prof
Hall Room: 9.35-9.50: Prayer and Singing led by Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz.
Frank Whaling and Dr. Neil Douglas-Klotz
Hall Room: 9.50 - 10.30: Presentation:
Neil Douglas-Klotz, Ph.D .,
internationally-known scholar of religious studies and psychology,
is author of Prayers of the Cosmos, Desert Wisdom, The Hidden Gospel
and The Genesis Meditations: A Shared Practice of Peace for Jews,
Christians and Muslims. A former departmental head of comparative
spirituality at Holy Names College in California, he now lectures
worldwide. He is co-chair of the Mysticism Group of the American
Academy of Religion and currently lives in Edinburgh, where he codirects
the Institute for Advanced Learning. He founded the International
Network for Dances of Universal Peace in 1982 and is a senior teacher
of the Sufi Ruhaniat International through which he has led spiritually
rooted peace-seeking journeys to Russia, Eastern Europe, Syria,
Jordan, and Israel.
of talk: Genesis
Now! The Story that Jews, Christians, and Muslims Still Share.
MP3 file of the talk (5.1 MB)
of Talk : An
ancient form of meditation unites the three religions of the Middle
East. It focuses on the creation of the universe and the archetype
of the first human being. It seeks to bring the energy and power
of this "beginning-time" directly into the life of practitioners,
so that they can experience the creation story as their own personal
story. The hidden history of this practice in the three traditions
actualizes much of their spiritual power. This ancient form of prayer
focuses, not on a vision of the apocalypse, but on the tremendous
power of creation as it is still unfolding in the universe and in
one's own personal experience. This 'original meditation'
lies behind Christians' awe at the rebirth of the Christ Child each
midwinter. It fuels the heartfelt hope of Jews in the New Year celebrations
of Rosh Hashana. And it roots the devotion of Muslims each year
during the fast of Ramadan. These are all celebrations of hope,
not fear, and of love, not hatred. By experiencing the creation
story as one's own personal story, we have the same opportunity
to recreate and renew ourselves, as our ancestors did, and to find
a deeper connection with the divine in our everyday lives. We can
also participate in the one meditative practice that might unite
our Christian, Judaic, and Islamic communities in a troubled world.
Room: 10.30-11.10: Presentation:
The Very Reverend Dr Finlay Macdonald ,
Finlay Macdonald was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church
of Scotland from May 2002 until May 2003. The office, which is an
honorary one and held for one year only, involves presiding
at the Church's annual General Assembly and then undertaking a number
of official visits on behalf of the Church, in Scotland and overseas.
A particular theme of Dr Macdonald's moderatorial year was interfaith
relations. In February/March 2003 he visited Lebanon, Syria and
1996 Finlay Macdonald has held the senior administrative position
of Principal Clerk to the General Assembly, and returned to this
job after his year as Moderator. He was ordained to the ministry
in 1971 and over the next twenty-five years served in parishes in
Clackmannanshire and Glasgow.
of Talk : In his address to the Conference Dr Macdonald
will give an account of his three week visit to the Middle East
in the period immediately before the Iraq war. In particular he
will talk of contacts with both Christian and Muslim leaders in
Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. Dr Macdonald will also speak of the dialogue
which has developed between leaders of the different faith communities
in Scotland, through a series of meetings involving Baha'i, Buddhist,
Christian, Hindu, Jew, Muslim and Sikh.
MP3 sound file of the talk (4 MB)
Room: 11.10-11.15: Prayer:
Christian Prayer for Peace read by The Very
Reverend Dr Finlay Macdonald.
Room: 11.15-11.50: Presentation: Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean :
Eliyahu McLean is the Coordinator of the Jerusalem Circle, a network
of spiritual peace activists. Eliyahu studied Middle Eastern Studies
at UC Berkeley and in Orthodox Jewish yeshivas in Brooklyn, New
York and Jerusalem. Eliyahu has initiated projects that integrate
spirituality and peacebuilding in the Middle East. Eliyahu was recently
ordained as a 'Rodef Shalom', 'Peace Pursuer' by Reb Zalman Schachter.
Eliyahu's work for peace is described in the book 'At the Entrance
to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for God with Christians and
Muslims in the Holy Land' by Yossi Klein Halevi.
See information on his work here.
of Talk: Reflections of a 'Peace Pursuer': spiritual peacebuilding
in the Holy Land.
Talk : In a time when most of the world sees conflict emanating
from the Middle East, Eliyahu McLean will share stories from the ground-where
positive events often go unreported. Some of these events include
the weekly Old City Peace Vigil, Jewish-Sufi prayer and study, "Sulha"
reconciliation gatherings and working groups of religious leaders
for peace. Eliyahu will examine the spiritual principles found in
Jewish tradition and ancient Arab culture that can help provide a
solution where political solutions have failed.
11. 50-12.20: Presentation: Sheikh
Abdul Aziz Bukhari : Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari is the head
of the Naqshabandi Sufi method in the Holy Land. Sheikh Bukhari's
family came to Jerusalem from Bukhara 400 years ago, and their home
has been a centre for visiting Muslim pilgrims and visitors of all
faiths since then. Sheikh Bukhari is a leading Muslim voice for peace
and reconciliation in Jerusalem. Sheikh Bukhari also hosts the Uzbek
Cultural Centre of the Holy Land in his home.
of Talk: The Sufi Path to Spirituality and Peace in the Holy Land.
of Talk : Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari will talk about his
family's history as a long line of Sufi sheikhs in the Naqshabandi
tradition living in Jerusalem. He will discuss the spiritual principles
found in Sufism and how they can be applied to help bring inner
peace and to bring a transform the conflict in the Holy Land. He
will share about his involvement in interfaith initiatives for peace
in the Mid-East with Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders.
MP3 file of the talk (3.3 MB)
Room: 12.20-12.25: Prayer:
Sufi Prayer for Peace read by Sheikh Abdul
Aziz Bukhari .
Room: 12.25-12.55: Presentation:
Rabbi Nancy Morris is currently
the rabbi and spiritual leader of Glasgow New Synagogue in Newton
Mearns, Glasgow. Raised and educated in Montreal, Canada, she received
her M.A. and LL.B. degrees at McGill University. Rabbi Morris was
also privileged to study in many different places throughout her
career, including Vienna, Prague, and Jerusalem. After working as
a lawyer in Toronto, she decided to follow her dream of becoming
a rabbi. She carried out her rabbinical training at Leo Baeck College
in London, England and spent her fifth-year student placement in
Ontario, Canada as rabbi for two small congregations; Temple Shalom
in Waterloo and Har Tikvah in Brampton. After ordination in July
2002, she continued as rabbi of Har Tikvah synagogue until moving
to Glasgow in October, 2003.
Title of Talk : Women's Spirituality for Peace.
MP3 file of the talk (2.7 MB)
Room: 12.55-1.00: Prayer: Jewish
Prayer for Peace
by Rabbi Nancy Morris
Room: 1-2: Lunch.
Two Parallel Workshops.
Room: Workshop 1: Dr
Neil Douglas-Klotz , see above.
of Workshop: Genesis Now! A Shared Practice
of Peace for Jews, Christians and Muslims.
of Workshop: Beginnings Unite: A Shared Practice of Peace .
All three faiths, in spite of apparent differences, share an emphasis
on sacred beginnings. The afternoon workshop will use chant, meditation,
body prayer, and sacred movement from the Aramaic Christian, Jewish
and Sufi traditions to demonstrate a different way of looking at
our shared past, present, and future. The aim is to reawaken the
potential for sacred creativity and deep peace in our lives.
Room: Workshop 2: Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean
and Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari , see above .
Title of Workshop: "How Healing the Holy Land Can Heal the World:
Jewish and Sufi Prayers for the Peace of Jerusalem."
of Workshop : Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean and Sheikh Abdul
Aziz Bukhari will share stories about their work together for peace
between the Children of Abraham in Jerusalem. Eliyahu will talk about
the Jewish-Sufi movement and the history of interfaith cooperation
in the Middle East that can provide a model for today. Sheikh Abdul
Aziz Bukhari will share teachings from Sufi tradition that support
peace and understanding between the Abrahamic faiths. They will lead
prayers for peace in Hebrew and Arabic followed by a Sufi 'zikr' ceremony
designed to open the heart.
MP3 files of this presentation:
Discussion (3.2 MB)
Two: Jewish-Sufi Chanting and Remembrance Practice (3.9 MB)
Two Parallel Presentations.
1: Dr. Moojan Momen was born in Iran, but was raised and
educated in England, attending the University of Cambridge. He has
a special interest in the study of the Baha'i Faith and Shi`i Islam,
both from the viewpoint of their history and their doctrines. In
recent years, his interests have extended to the study of the phenomenon
of religion. His principal publications in this field include: Introduction
to Shi`i Islam (Yale University Press, 1985); The Babi and Baha'i
Faiths 1844-1944: Some Contemporary Western Accounts (George Ronald,
Oxford, 1982) and The Phenomenon of Religion (OneWorld, Oxford,
1999). He has contributed articles to Encyclopedia Iranica and Encyclopedia
of the Modern Islamic World as well as papers to academic journals
such as International Journal of Middle East Studies, Past and Present,
Iran and Religion. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and
on the faculty of Landegg International University, Switzerland.
of Talk: Mysticism and the Baha'i Community.
MP3 file of the talk (3 MB)
Room: Presentation 2: Malcolm Deboo : Malcolm Minoo Deboo
has been the Librarian and Information Officer at the Zoroastrian
Trust Funds of Europe Incorporated in London since 1990. The ZTFE
was established in 1861 to look after the interest and welfare of
the Zoroastrians of Europe including Britain. He manages the Zoroastrian
Book Stall which stocks over 350 titles on Zoroastrianism and is
the first point of reference at the ZTFE in disseminating information on
the Zoroastrian religion, heritage and culture to anybody who is
interested, including educational and interfaith establishments,
local and national government agencies. Malcolm has been consulted
by the University of Derby, London Boroughs of Camden and Westminster
for their Multi Faith Directories and by authors of books on the
Zoroastrian community in Britain and the first three Asian MPs in
the House of Commons. He was also the sole person in charge
of supplying information on Zoroastrianism for the Faith Zone in
the Millennium Dome. Malcolm has given papers on the subjects such
as "Is Conversion a form of Religious Intolerance?", "Conversion
& Genocide of the Zoroastrians of Iran", "Early Zoroastrian
Identity in Britain". Later in the year he will be part of
the Zoroastrian delegation attending the World Parliament of Religions
in Barcelona, as he did in Chicago in 1993.
of Talk: Zoroastrianism: The Religion of the Soldiers of Truth,
but has never been to war in the name of religion.
of talk : The first Zoroastrian to visit the UK was in
1724 on a mission to seek justice. Zoroastrianism is the religion
of the 3 Magi popularly known as the 3 Wise Kings and also of the
first 3 Asian MPs elected to the House of Commons. The religion was
first revealed to the world by Prophet Zarathushtra, known to the
ancient Greeks as Zoroaster, over 3500 years ago in the region which
today borders Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. Zoroastrians are
not pacifist, indeed the faithful are called asharvans "soldiers
of truth", because they are constantly at war against evil!
However, in its entire history Zoroastrianism has never been to
war in the name of religion. The reason being that this war against
evil can only be won, by the asharvan constantly performing good
thoughts, good words and good deeds. Evil is everywhere and it is
only through goodness that evil will be defeated and everlasting
peace be obtained. Everlasting peace would lead to perfection and
on to immortality! This
paper will examine from a Zoroastrian perspective the purpose of
creation by the Creator, the role of the saviour, the end of the
world and paradise, together with the role of the immortal soul
in creation combined with the importance of being good. It will
highlight the path to everlasting peace and examine the spirituality
of the Zoroastrian faithful in Iran who even under genocide and
mass proselytising have done their utmost to maintain their ancient
beliefs and practises.
MP3 file of this talk (3.6 MB)
Room: 3.45 -3.50 : Prayer: Baha'i Prayer
for Peace read by Dr. Moojan Momen .
Room: 3.45-3.50: Prayer: Zoroastrian Prayer for Peace read by Malcolm
Two Parallel Presentations.
Room: Presentation 1: Dr Arzina Lalani. A Research Associate
at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, Dr Lalani is an Arabist with
a doctorate in Islamic Studies from the Department of Arabic and
Middle Eastern Studies, University of Edinburgh. She has previously
taught Hadith Literature at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University
of Cambridge, served as a mentor in Arabic at DeMontfort University
and lectured for several years on Early Shi'i Studies at The Institute
of Ismaili Studies. Her book, Early Shi'i Thought: The Teachings
of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (London, 2000) has been translated
into several languages including Arabic, Persian and French. Following
peer reviews, this work recently won a prestigious literary award
in Iran as one of the distinguished books of the year ( Kitab
Sal-e-Vilayat , 2002). Dr Lalani's forthcoming publication,
The Apex of Humanity: A Philosophical Approach to the Imamate
is a critical edition and translation of a Fatimid manuscript
by Ahmad al-Naysaburi. She is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia
of the Qur'an (Leiden), the Encyclopaedia of Religion
, and the Dictionary of Islamic Philosophers amongst
others, as well as an editorial board member on the Routledge
Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an . She also regularly presents at
national and international academic conferences.
of Talk: Articulation of Shi`i Ismaili Spirituality.
MP3 file of the talk (3.2 MB)
Room: Presentation 2: Prof Samy Swayd is a visiting Professor in Religious
Studies and the Director of the Institute of Druze Studies at San
Diego State University (SDSU). He holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies
of Talk: Druze Spirituality and Asceticism.
to unforseen difficulties, Professor Swayd was unable to join us
in person. HIs talk was read by Professor Frank Whaling. Download
a copy of the talk.
Room: 4.20-4.25: Prayer:
Ismaili Prayer for Peace read by Dr Arzina
Library Room: 4.20-4.25: Prayer: Druze Prayer for Peace read by
Prof Samy S. Swayd.
Two Parallel Forum Presentations.
Room: Forum 1: "Samuel
L. Lewis and the Origin of Dances of Universal Peace as a Spiritual
Practice for Peace" with Dr Neil
Douglas-Klotz, Co-founder, The International Network for Dances
of Universal Peace.
an MP3 file of this talk (2.9 MB)
Room: Forum 2: The Mathnawi of Rumi by Dr.Seyed G. Safavi, Director,
London Academy of Iranian Studies, and Editor of Transcendent Philosophy
MP3 file of this talk (3.8 MB)
Room: 5 .00-5:30 Questions
Walker, The Edinburgh International Centre for World Spiritualities,
Charity, SC030155, 4 William Black Place, South Queensferry, Edinburgh,
9PZ. Scotland. Ph: +44 (0)131 331 4469, email: email@example.com
Neil Douglas-Klotz, The Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning,
East Champanyie, Edinburgh, EH9 3EL, Scotland, UK. Ph: +44 (0)131
firstname.lastname@example.org ; www.eial.org and
funding for the Festival and associated Conference was provided
by the Oneness Project
and the International
Network for the Dances of Universal Peace.