Students, faculty members, chaplains and Washington, D.C. residents from different religious backgrounds gather in McShain Lounge every Monday to interpret a different scripture from the Gospel.

This Monday’s Inter-Religious Dialogue featured the scripture Luke 9:28-36 from a Buddhist perspective. The session started off with a movie clip showing Dalai Lama’s commentary about the particular scripture. Following the movie clip, a Buddhist student’s commentary was presented. A 45-minute “open-dialogue” concluded the session.

Jewish, Christian, Buddhist and Hindu members of the audience interpreted the scripture quite differently. “We could reach no clear cut conclusion, but that’s the point,” Tina Sadarangani (COL ’06) said.

Sadarangani said she found the session informative, and she was surprised how “civilized and smooth” the open dialogue was. Rajesh Vidyasajar, a District resident, described the session as a “terrific opportunity to hear different perspectives.”

“It was fascinating to see how people of different faiths can come together, discuss sacred texts and illuminate each other’s traditions,” said Michael D. Goldman, the Jewish Chaplain at the Law Center.

Pravin Rajan (SFS ’07) said he had an interest in studying religious texts since he was young. He said he believes there are many similarities between different religious texts and traditions. “If you lose cultural contexts, there’s a great deal of interconnectivity,” he said.

Sadarangani agreed. “It’s nice to see parallels [between different religions] rather than differences,” she said.

The leader of the discussion, Professor Laurence Freeman is a Benedictine monk and a visiting professor at Georgetown this semester. He said this Monday’s session was the third session in the series. Next Monday’s session will feature a scripture about non-violence, and it will be presented from a Muslim perspective, he said.

Catholic Studies and Campus Ministry sponsored the Inter-Religious Open Dialogue.

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