Monday, April 11, 2011
The event was initiated by Dr. Padmaja Patel, who said she wanted to create a discussion of a different sort between the religions. "I wanted to do it for quite some time, but I wasn't sure how to go about it," Patel said. She asked the religious leaders to each submit one question regarding contemporary issues. The possible topics range from political discourse to philosophical ideas, like how a religion interprets pain or suffering.
The purpose of the questions is to see how different faith groups analyze and confront situations based on their philosophies and doctrines. "The idea is to understand how our faith allows us to understand," Patel said.
The Rev. James Bridges of St. Stephen's Catholic Church said the talk will help in getting to know the non-Christian populations that are making West Texas their new home. "For the first time we've had Hindus migrate over here to help with our diocese and in the medical profession, and we're finding mosques," Bridges said. "We're finding people who worship God sincerely but do not have any connection with Christ and are not Christian."
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today, will represent Hinduism at the panel.