The Future or Death of Religion: an Interfaith Discussion

An Interfaith Discussion, The Future or Death of Religion

February 25, 1pm PST.

Mark your calendars.

I will be speaking with three amazing representatives of different religions, hosted by Mark W. Gura, on the topic of the future of religion. Here is the official blurb:

An Interfaith Discussion
About The
Future Or Death Of Religion
Hosted By
Mark W. Gura

With the turn of the new year and recent depictions of religion in the media, many are asking where religion is heading in 2014. The Rise of the Nones, the recent Pew Study on Religious Hostility, Pope Francis, and current issues in Religious Freedom, have shown the changing and dynamic landscape of religion in the United States and worldwide. Issues of gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, the portrayal of Muslims and atheists in the media, and the rising interest in different forms of Buddhism, make this conversation pertinent and cutting-edge. In this interfaith conversation, we have an atheist (Kile Jones, Founder of Interview an Atheist at Church Day), an Ahmadi Muslim (Qasim Rashid, Author of “The Wrong Kind of Muslim“), a Queer-Mestizaje-Agnostic (Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, Researcher at Iliff School of Theology), and a Buddhist (Justin Whitaker, Blogger at American Buddhist Perspective) talking about where we see religion going in 2014. So come join us for a lively discussion with a diverse group of people!

For some amazingly helpful pre-reading, try the section at Patheos on the Future of World Religions. You’ll be surprised at how many big names and insightful discussions are found there. And I myself will be focusing in on the Future of Buddhism section, which itself has some super amazing contributors including: Mushim IkedaThubten ChodronRev. George TanabeLes SponselChade-Meng TanJames ColemanNatascha BrucknerVenerable JaguangStephen LevineAlan SenaukeChan Master Sheng YenPhilip RyanJosh BartokMaia Duerr,  Jeff WilsonPaul NumrichChristopher QueenBernie GlassmanCharles S. Prebish, and Susan Kaiser Greenland.

Wow. I have some work to do. I hope to see you Feb 25th.

You can RSVP and find out more on our event page on facebook.

  • Umar Marsh 2

    The fate of religion is most certainly oblivion or death if you will. Islam on the other hand is a deen, a complete way of life in all aspects: spiritually, socially, economically, politically, militarily. All of these aspects of human existence is dealt with in detail in such a way which adapts with modern discovery without contradiction or exclusiveness. Case and point, it was Islam which explored and developed knowledge of the Greeks and that of ancient India in terms of aspects of math and introduced them onto the realm of practical reality.
    Christianity on the other hand was burning scientists as magicians. Jews of that time held too many debilitating taboos to make much progress in the area of science and discovery, although they began to change this trend during the period of relative safety and affluence in Morrish Spain.
    Another reason that Islam stands to be the only religion to survive the test of time is its fullproofness and resistance to alteration and dilution. Sects and deviations in Islam are the exception rather than the rule where you have a religion where the majority of its denominations are in and of themselves deviations from the pure religion. An example of this is the Roman Catholic and the Protestant Church which are totally different from the original message of Jesus Christ. These two religions will alter and change themselves out of existance.
    The Shi’ite and Ahmadiya offshoots from true Islam are not wide spread nor are they expanding exponentially as true Islam is. True Islam has two conical sources which strictly govern the tenats by which Islam is defined which are the Quran (to which there is only one version) and the Sunnah (the recorded sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad according to circumstances underwhich the Quran was revealed to him (peace be upon him). The Quran ( Allah’s word and the final Abrahamic revelation) and the Prophet Muhammad clearly declared Islam as complete and perfected during the Prophet’s lifetime. Thus, any notion that any deviant Shi’ite or false Ahmadiya prophets are needed to add or subtract anything from this complete faith and way of life.

  • Y. A. Warren

    The expert’s blog posts that you ask us to read in advance are all four years old. A lot has transpired in world religion and world politics since then.

    • justinwhitaker

      Yea, there’s definitely a lot of current events missed out in those, but I think the overall trajectory (writing about Buddhism in America, which goes back 150+ years and Buddhism as a whole, going back 2500 years) is well captured on those articles. I will definitely talk about more recent issues like the state of the Rohingya in Burma and perhaps some of the scandals/tragedies in the last couple years (I’m not sure if any of the writers mention specific problems arising in American Buddhism). Do you have any suggestions for important information left out?

      • Y. A. Warren

        I must confess that I skim over your posts that address sports as a moral issue because I really don’t know enough about any sport to think intelligently about any of them.

        I did go back and read a recent sports-based post, and I see where you defined injury from a Buddhist perspective. It seems that most sports do not adhere to the rules against purposely harming others, if they think they can get away with it. There are also many fans that see sports as blood sports, and react violently to the games. I’d like to see more of what I think of as Buddhism in sports arenas.

        I would also like to see commentary on how the way that current events, as lived by people purporting to be Buddhists, fit into (or are contrary to) the roots of Buddhism.