Religion and art: Talent and tension


With a few inexpensive moves to turn bare walls into venues, churches are using visual displays for a range of purposes. Some complement lessons taught in worship (one church asked members to submit art pieces in response to a sermon series on thriving). Others bridge cultural divides with the secular world. Parishioners, staffers, artists and neighbors all say they benefit as displaying art becomes a larger part of the church’s mission. What then, is the role of art in religion – many religions?

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Considering mercy among Japan’s Buddhist, Shinto faiths

awaremiTokyo: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan’s Inter-Religious Dialogue Committee as part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy held discussions on the theory and practice of mercy in Buddhist and Shinto faiths. There is a direct parallel with the Japanese Christians understanding of God’s love which means ‘to hold dear’.

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Pope Francis says it’s wrong to identify Islam with violence

francis-planePope Francis said on Sunday that it was wrong to identify Islam with violence and that social injustice and idolatry of money were among the prime causes of terrorism. “I think it is not right to identity Islam with violence,” he told reporters aboard the plane taking him back to Rome after a five-day trip to Poland. “This is not right and this is not true.”

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Freedom of worship: Rio 2016 athletes’ village to welcome all religions

ovillageWhichever faith they follow, competitors coming to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic and Paralympic Games will find a place to worship in the athletes’ village. The Inter-religious centre at the Olympic and Paralympic Village will serve athletes of every faith, says coordinator, Father Leandros.

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How a Muslim and a Hindu Became ‘Blood Brothers’

brothers

I am Muslim and a journalist. So news of violence and hatred between Muslims and those of other faiths is never far from my mind. But my Nepalese “blood brother”, or “mit” as it is known in our language, is a Hindu. Our friendship is known as a Miteri friendship – a special friendship decided by our grandmothers over 24 years ago as part of a unique Nepali tradition.

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The Year of Mercy is a time to learn about Islam


Muslim pilgrims pray atop Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat Oct. 3, 2014, during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Dec. 8 marks the opening of the Jubilee of Mercy, a yearlong celebration of God’s compassion. Pope Francis, who has made mercy the motto of his papacy, hopes that this year will be “a true moment of encounter with the mercy of God.” One way Catholics can become better acquainted with this divine mercy is by more deliberately encountering another religion that takes God’s mercy as its central focus: Islam.

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