Friday, March 21, 2008

2008 TEDPrize Winner: Karen Armstrong (Part 3 of 3)

This is a little late coming out, but it's been sitting in my posts list for a while waiting to be edited, so here it is. The third installment of the TEDPrize Webcast! Click the tags if you would like to read the other related posts.

Amy introduced James Nachtwey's TEDPrize update. which is to use photography to tell the vital story to use news photography as a means to stimulate conversation. They found public spaces to present the photography such that they would be easily noticed (read: unavoidable in the public space.)

Mode Studios created an immersive environment where the pictures can be seen all over the place.

PR Newswire offered the use of the largest digital sign in the world.
Time Magazine assisted with the project as well.
"People will care if you give them something to care about." Great quote. The church needs to learn to care more, and I think we're moving that way. But many in the church, myself included, are unaware of what crises others in the world are facing daily.

This TEDPrize will be fully realized in September of 2008. Mark you calendars. This will be something to see.

Chris Anderson then introduced the third 2008 TEDPrize winner, Karen Armstrong.
  • Went to Jerusalem and began to learn about Isalm and Judaism and noticed the profound connection between the religions.
  • Belief before the 17th century meant to love, to prize, to endear.

  • Credo - didn't mean I accept certain articles of faith, it meant I commit myself to this. That's what the creeds are supposed to mean today, too, but we lost this in modernity. "To believe" became "to agree that it is correct." Augustine said, "Unless you believe you will never understand." He put beilef and understanding in different categories. To believe in Jesus Christ means to put your faith, hope and trust in his shed blood, not just agree with the facts.

  • If religion is not about believing things, what it is about? It's about behaving differently. It's about both. Remember we need to keep a historical view of belief.

  • Religious doctrines are meant to be summons to action. You only understand them when you put them into action.

  • Compassion is the highest place of religion. Once we get rid of ego, we're ready to see the divine.

  • Every major religion has placed the golden rule at the center of their faiths.

  • "Scripture teaches nothing but charity." - Augustine

  • Reglion has been hijacked. Terrorists cite the Koran. Christians endlessly judging others and putting people down.

  • Throughout the ages religion has been used to oppress others.

  • You cannot confine compassion to your own group. Love your enemies. Honor the stranger.

  • The cause of our present woes are political, but religion is a kind of fault line and gets sucked into much of the problem. There is a great deal of religous illitericy.

  • The golden rule is difficult.

  • A lot of religious people prefer to be right rather than compassionate. Are right doctrine and compassion mutually exclusive?

  • What can we do to change things?

  • People want to be religious and it should be a force of harmony in the world because of the golden rule. So true.

  • Here is my wish: I wish that you would help with the creation, launch and propogation of a charter of compassion from a group of inspirational thinkers from the three great religions based on the golden rule. It should give guidlines as to how to interpret the texts instead of being abused. As a religious leader, I would have to think long and hard about something like this. I agree that the texts should not be used to harm others, but I would be wary of agreeing to a set of interpretive guidelines as she describes them.

  • Goal: That it will be signed by 1000 religious leaders.

  • A charter in every college, church, mosque and synagogue in the world.

It will be interesting to see this wish come alive.

As God's image-bearers how do we respond to calls for ecumenical relationships with those outside of the faith? Do we illustrate God's love by promoting love and peace in this fallen world?

Karen really makes you think, doesn't she? What is your response to this?

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