Public Lecture in collaboration with the Asialink Centre and the University of Melbourne
On the 25th of February 2020, the 1000 Abrahamic Circles project in collaboration with the Asialink Centre and the University of Melbourne had the chance to conduct a public lecture with the title “21st Century Peace and Harmony: An Interfaith Journey”. The public lecture invited Dr. Dino Patti Djalal as the CEO and Founder of 1000 Abrahamic Circles project and Rabbi Avraham (Avi) Bart, one of the circle members from the 3rd circle, “Abraham’s Peace”. The event was attended by students, scholars and interfaith communities in Melbourne.
Dr. Djalal began the discussion by talking about the abrahamic blindspot, which is the fact that in the past 2,000 years or so, there has not been a century where Abrahamic religions were at peace, globally. He then explained the new global trends of terrorist attacks where worshippers are being attacked in their house of worships, the rising religious blasphemy laws and discrimination as well as restrictions on the basis of religion.
Dr. Djalal also raised a point on how the problem of interfaith conflict lies primarily not on ignorance but instead it lies on religious bigotry. As he mentioned, “While we take a strong stand against racial bigotry, we tend to be more dismissive or complacent toward religious bigotry.”
The second session invited Rabbi Avi to share about his experience during the 3rd circles in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Australia. He recalled that the journey has allowed him not only to build friendship with the other religious leaders but also to meet and to converse with people from various backgrounds.
“It was about as much as possible getting myself and my preconception out of the picture and reframe and that was also particularly challenging because we have a lot of built up ideas inside our heads but that was the conscious efforts that I was going through and that was really powerful,” he said.