Common Ground Lecture To Examine Spiritual Traditions For Wisdom On War

“Common Ground,” based out of Deerfield, Ill., a center for interfaith dialogue, will host a thought-provoking lecture at Moorings Park in Naples entitled, “Bringing Spiritual Wisdom to the Current War,” Tuesday, March 12, from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

The lecture is part of a series made possible through the partnership of International College’s Creative Retirement Center and the Moorings Park residential community. Common Ground is a nonprofit educational center set up for inquiry and sharing of the world’s religions.

This presentation will draw on the world’s diverse religions, such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and others. The scriptures, interpretations and current theology of these religions will be examined to try and shed light on the causes of the current conflict.

Ron Miller, who will lead the lecture, wants people to come to the presentation with an open mind to learn about the bigger picture.

“Our present crisis gives us a lot of dots to connect,” said Miller, co-founder and co-director of Common Ground. “The hope is that we grow in wisdom and act out of wisdom and not out of some knee-jerk reaction and partial perspective on the crisis.”

Miller also will focus on the distinction between violence and force and whether force is a necessary part of the struggle for justice.

“People haven’t reflected enough on force or violence. If force is legitimate in some instances, how do you keep it from escalating into violence?” Miller asked. “Bush is talking mainly about military intervention. Is force our only weapon in the pursuit of justice? Can the current crisis be solved by military intervention alone? If not, what else needs to be done? What do these traditions teach us about listening and about dialogue?”

Miller is a professor and Chair of the Department of Religion at Lake Forest College in Illinois. He formerly was a Jesuit priest who studied in Germany and Israel and holds degrees in the classics, philosophy, theology and comparative religions. Miller also is the author of “Dialogue and Disagreement: Franz Rosenzweig’s Relevance to Contemporary.

Jewish-Christian Understanding” and “The Wisdom of the Carpenter: the Teachings of Jesus as a Universalist.”

Common Ground’s goal is to understand and accept personal, cultural and religious diversity. It invites diverse people to share their knowledge through lectures and workshops.

A requested donation for this lecture is $15. For more information on the Common Ground series, contact David Griffith, a Bonita Springs resident and instructor at the Creative Retirement Center, a noncredit program of life-long learning for adults, at 992-7849.

IF YOU GO

What: Common Ground lecture, “Bringing Spiritual Wisdom to the Current War.”

When: From 7:30 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, March 12.

Where: Moorings Park in Naples, located two blocks southeast of Pine Ridge Road off Goodlette-Frank.

Cost: A requested donation of $15.

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