Soka Gakkai International
Buddhism in Action for Peace
History & Philosophy
Stories and reflections on the Buddhist approach to life
Updates and reports from around the world
On March 29, SGI-Spain hosted an interfaith symposium organized by the Madrid Community Interfaith Dialogue Association (ADIM). The symposium, held at the SGI-Spain Culture Center in Rivas-Vaciamadrid, near Madrid, was attended by some 100 people including representatives from the Bahá’í faith, Brahma Kumaris, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Tibetan Buddhism and SGI-Spain.
Following an opening speech by ADIM President Margarita Pintos, Adela Cortina Orts, professor of Ethics at the University of Valencia, and Javier Ruiz Calderón, a scholar specializing in the philosophy and history of religion in India, gave keynote speeches.
Dr. Cortina characterized globalization today as being rooted in human egoism. Toward establishing a new kind of global society based on human values, she highlighted the importance of transforming the present mindset of competition to one based on cooperation. In this transformation, compassion, she said, would be a driving force and, as religion fosters such compassion, it would also be a vital driving force. Dr. Calderón concurred that religious values have an important role in establishing a new and better global society.
The event included workshops and activity reports from representatives of the different faith traditions on their efforts to create a better world.
On April 12, SGI-Spain held a lecture, attended by some 60 people, on the portrayal of religion in the media. The guest speaker was Professor Juan José Tamayo Acosta, director of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Carlos III University of Madrid. Professor Tamayo posited that the Spanish media underrepresents minority religious groups. He recommended that the media provide equal opportunities to all religious groups to communicate their philosophies and that religious groups open their activities up to the public and become better communicators.
[Adapted from reports from SGI-Spain; photos courtesy of SGI-Spain]
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by Dennis Lee, director of Program and Community Relations, SSA
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by Olivier Urbain, director, Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research