Religion Lectures At Rice Promote Peaceful Coexistence

November 16, 2009

By bringing together new lecturers and educators on various faiths, a group at Rice University is trying to offer a basic understanding of world religions to the community in an effort to reduce ignorance and promote peaceful coexistence among people of all faiths and no faith.

“So much suspicion and distrust of people of other faiths is rooted in ignorance,” said Shira Lander, interim director of Rice University’s Boniuk Center for Religious Tolerance, in a statement. “If we can begin to dispel people’s misunderstandings about other people’s religions and replace harmful assumptions with accurate facts, then we can begin the road to creating interreligious understanding.”

The series kicks off on Nov. 17 with a course on Islam by Ata Anzali, public scholar fellow at the Boniuk Center and specialist in comparative mysticism and Islamic studies. The talk lasts from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Islamic Society of Greater Houston’s Eastside Main Center, 3110 East Side St.

The first installments of the World Religions Lecture Series will be held at the Eastside Main Center and in addition to Islam, will encompass Hinduism (Dec. 1), Catholicism (Jan. 14), Baha’i (Jan. 19) and Sikhism (Jan. 26). The lecture series will resume in the spring at Congregational Beth Israel, 5600 N. Braeswood Blvd., and examine Judaism (Feb. 9), African-American religions (Feb. 16), Zoroastrianism (Feb. 23), Orthodox Christianity (March 9) and Buddhism (March 23).

Individual courses are $12; the entire 10-course series is $100. Registration information can be found at or by calling 713-348-4536.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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