Interfaith spar results in awkward hug by jaffa cakes

interfaith

From left to right: Dr Kate Wharton, Dr Maria Heim, Dr Brandon Gallaher, Professor Gwen Griffeth-Dickson, Professor Chakravarthi Ram Prasad, Dr Clare Carlisle. Photo W. Merttens

A Buddhist scholar of Keirkegaard, an agnostic scholar of Buddhaghosa, an orthodox Christian theologian and a learned Oxford don who happens to be a Hindu were sitting side by side on a discussion panel.

Sounds like it could be the beginning of a rather convoluted study-of-religions joke, but actually it was an interfaith conference organised by Dr Kate Wharton, deputy secretary for inter-religious affairs to the archbishop of Canterbury.

The panel seemed to be uncovering a tentative common ground – each of them in their way complicating the notion that a religion is a coherent phenomenon that starts and ends with its card-carrying devotees.

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