Comparative Religious Studies/Question Time - John Mason
In UK there is a televised programme where panel and audience discuss and debate topical issues. The programme is called Question Time. The audience raise questions with regard to the week’s topical issues and the panel answer the questions from different perspectives.
I would like to arrange a similar event in a University with panel representing different religions and with extensive knowledge in interfaith. Probably call it Question Time – The religious perspective.
The main target audience will be:
Students studying Bachelor or Masters Degree in Theology
Students belonging to religious societies such as Christian or Islamic
Other interested students or other parties.
I appreciate any advice which you can provide in order to plan for a successful even.
At this time the relationship of Islam and other faiths, especially Christianity, then Hinduism and Buddhism, would be interesting.
Does (the particular religion) advocate a certain kind of society, a certain kind of government?
Are there ways to have religious services, simple worship or other types of event, such as a retreat, or festival celebration, that can include guests or partici[pants from other faiths? Sometimes it seems that such meetings can become a kind of staged or special performance, and fail to show the real and normal activity of the religions involved.
Does one of the religions under discussion have a single "world view", or typical "world views", that would include, exclude, or ignore, other faiths?
--perhaps you could ask about those with "no faith", or those who reject faith, or those who have a secular faith, e.g. the progress of science. What is the relation of these to the several religions?
Can the panelists provide their best advice about how students in theology should direct their efforts. This would include advice about how to conceive of theology, and its goal, and also advice about practices of study--how much book study, how much writing, discussion, listening, speaking; how much meditation, prayer, pilgrimage, etc. Could they talk about their own experience?
I would most recommend trying to have participants tell us what they value in their religion and try to explain to others what are its merits and benefits.