CONTACT: TOM SNEE
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Dec. 9, 2002
December Finding God panel to discuss Christian pluralism
Many people consider the claim that the only way to God is through Jesus
Christ to be arrogant, narrow-minded and bigoted. Indeed, what Jesus said
in John 14: 6, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes
to the Father except through me," does appear to be exclusivistic and
intolerant. So how should one understand Jesus statement in the context
of our pluralistic culture? Is it "absurd religious chauvinism"
as pluralist Rosemary Radford Ruether labeled it? Or is it as one Jewish rabbi
called it a "spiritual dictatorship" that fosters the kind of smug
and superior attitude that can lead to hatred and violence?
To attempt to get at the real meaning of Jesus' statement, a panel composed
of four UI faculty members from various academic disciplines will share their
insights on Friday, Dec. 13 from noon to 1 p.m. in River Room 1 in of the
Iowa Memorial Union. The discussion will be moderated by Arnold Andersen,
professor of psychiatry, with the panel composed of Lauris Kaldjian, professor
of internal medicine; Kenneth Kuntz, professor of religion; and Fred Skiff,
professor of astronomy and physics. The event is free and open to the public.
The special panel discussion is part of the ongoing Finding God at Iowa
lunch series that seeks to create a healthy environment for the life of the
spirit and the life of the mind. It is hoped that through the regular, open
and informal exchange of ideas, members of the university community, within
and outside of the faith communities may have a greater understanding and
appreciation of the healing and reconciling power of the Judeo-Christian message.
For further information, contact Jason Chen at 341-0007 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.