IDI: Interreligious Dialogue Initiative

Darrell Hillaire and Pat Twohy, SJ

Upcoming Event: Darrell Hillaire and Pat Twohy, SJ - May 19 @ 4pm

The topic will be twofold: Lummi spirituality in dialogue with Jesuit spiritual practice as well as Lummi reflections on ecology and earth care. Darrell Hillaire is a highly esteemed leader and the executive director of Tse-sum-ten and Setting Sun Productions. Pat Twohy, SJ is the author of two seminal works, Finding a Way Home and Beginnings: A Meditation on Coast Salish Lifeways.

RSVP to ICTC@seattleu.edu for the Zoom link for this event

 

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A Message from the IDI Chair, Dr. Jason Wirth:

I hope that this finds everyone persevering through the many challenges of the pandemic, including the various new stresses that have characterized our life and work at Seattle University. Our spiritual life has been a traditional source of solace during times of adversity, although historically the strife between its disparate manifestations has also contributed significantly to the problems that they purport to heal.

As the chair of the IDI and a Buddhist priest, I acknowledge this history, but it is also my hope that in addressing it, we can make the diversity of our spiritual life a source of wisdom, learning, and mutual dialogue, support, and strength.

In the winter quarter, we had our first event, an afternoon with the Vietnam vet, peacemaker, and Soto Zen priest, Claude AnShin Thomas. We lifted up the ICTC winter theme, Non-violence, by providing an interreligious perspective. AnShin gave a terrific talk and there were over a hundred people in attendance. If you missed it, you can watch it here on vimeo: https://vimeo.com/509920193

I am also happy to share with you the preliminary details for our next event, which will feature Darrell Hillaire of the Lummi People and Pat Twohey, SJ. It is scheduled for WEDNESDAY, MAY 19, 2021 at 4 pm and will once again be a Zoom event. The topic will be twofold: Lummi spirituality in dialogue with Jesuit spiritual practice as well as Lummi reflections on ecology and earth care.

Darrell Hillaire is a highly esteemed leader and the executive director of Tse-sum-ten and Setting Sun Productions (https://settingsunproductions.org). Pat Twohey is the author of two seminal works, Finding a Way Home and Beginnings: A Meditation on Coast Salish Lifeways. He has lived with and served indigenous peoples of the Northwest for four decades, including eleven years with the Colville Confederated Tribes in Eastern Washington and more recently the Swinomish and Tulalip Tribes of the Coast Salish Peoples.

In order to prepare for the event, I highly recommend listening to this powerful recent collaborative project between Darrell and Pat. It both sets the tone for the event and provides excellent and quite moving background:

https://settingsunproductions.org/beginnings

Please feel to contact me with questions and suggestions. It is my hope to offer spiritually rich and provocative programming that will nourish our whole community, religious and non-religious, traditionalists and seekers.

Tetsuzen Jason Wirth (wirthj@seattleu.edu)

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Corona Sutra

With Jason Wirth, PhD

Tetsuzen Jason Wirth, Professor of Philosophy at Seattle University and a Soto Zen priest, offers a Dharma talk (speaking from the heart regarding the great matters of living and dying) that also seeks to offer some Zen words of encouragement during the current crisis. He begins with a brief reflection on a line from the Heart Sutra and then ties its thought to the words of Zen Master Dogen (1200-1253). In so doing, he tries to understand how Dogen would also have seen our crisis as a sutra, a moment the study of which can lead to an awakening and a deepening of our practice.

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Past Messages from IDI

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IDI Event

Upcoming IDI Lecture

Active Non-Violence in relation to the ideas of Peace, Non-Violence and Pacifism

Tuesday, February 2 at 4pm PST via Zoom

Claude AnShin Thomas is a Vietnam combat veteran turned Zen Buddhist monk, author, and speaker who will explore the difference between the ideas of peace, non-violence, and pacifism and a commitment to the reality of “active" non-violence. 

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Zen and Morning Star with Fr. Robert Kennedy, SJ

 

Robert Kennedy is one of three Jesuits in the world who answer to the titles “Father” and “Roshi” or venerable Zen teacher. He is not only a Jesuit priest and Zen master, but also a psychotherapist and former professor of theology at St Peter’s College in New Jersey. He is a representative of the Institute for Spiritual Consciousness in Politics at the United Nations. He is the author of Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit and Zen Gifts to Christians. Watch the recording of the lecture below:

 

The Crossroads Matrix:  Spirituality, Cosmopolitanism and Black Subjectivity in Fela! On Broadway and Marvel’s Black Panther by Saheed Yinka Adejumobi, Ph.D., Department of History, Global African Studies, and Film Studies

When modern European Christian missionaries along with African apostles and converts translated the Holy Bible into African indigenous languages and myths, they simultaneously transmogrified the Yoruba deity Esu, the guardian of the Crossroads, into the biblical Satan. In many Christian communities throughout the Africa diaspora, the Crossroads became associated with a pathological site where a pact is to be struck with the Devil in exchange for knowledge and power; and the potential cost of this exchange is the loss of human lives or souls.
An alternative interpretation rooted in West African Yoruba cosmology holds that the Crossroads is a portal through which humanistic utopian impulses can be actualized. In this presentation, I explore the African Crossroads Matrix as a metaphor for both material and psychological sacrifice, appreciating lessons of the past, and embracing the potential of new ideas, both material and spiritual. These forces, I argue, make the Crossroads a zone for the exploration of future histories reflecting cosmopolitan ideals that uphold more equal post-hegemonic and even post-racial imaginations.
We often take for granted, in contemporary settings, how subjective definitions of spirituality, visions of moral order, and power are reified through knowledge production and the culture industry. I engage with two major artistic productions that reside at the center of the Crossroads Matrix: Fela! On Broadway (2008-2012) and Marvel’s Black Panther (2018), both conceived, funded and produced in North America but with stories, semiotics and aesthetic research done in Africa. These works challenge post-colonial geopolitics, modern global ethics, and Africa’s general exclusion from enjoying the full benefits of its natural and cultural resources.
Drawing on these themes, my presentation asks, who is a full person? Who is Cosmopolitan? Who controls narratives of the past, the present, and the speculative future? How have people of African heritage defined intellectual, semiotic, aesthetic and cultural expressions throughout periods of slavery, colonialism, dislocation, exile and migration? What have they done with timeless exposure to new ideas of spiritual and material significance? Do African-derived spiritual and humanist values deserve more recognition for their ability to absorb new ideas and pervade creative and expressive cultures on a global scale?

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About the Interreligious Dialogue Initiative

The Interreligious Dialogue Initiative (IDI) established in 2012 under the auspices of Mission and Ministry and now, as of Fall 2015, located within the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture (ICTC) aims to awaken sensibility in the Seattle U. community to the richness of the world’s religions, a richness abundantly represented on our campus, and to move beyond mere tolerance to engagement. The IDI steering committee includes on-campus representatives of various religious and spiritual traditions and key areas such as Campus Ministry, Theology and Religious Studies, and the School of Theology and Ministry. Beginning in the academic year 2019-2020, the IDI will be shifting its focus in a new direction. Each quarter IDI, in collaboration with various other groups and initiatives on campus, will sponsor a public forum designed to deepen awareness of religious traditions and spiritual pathways. We hope that these events will emphasize the continuing creative role of religions in a secular age.

 

Read the text from the 34th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, Decree 5: “Our Mission and Interreligious Dialogue.” https://jesuitportal.bc.edu/research/documents/1995_decree5gc34/