Hartford Seminary

Reading “Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World”

We are inviting the community to read and discuss Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World, in which the Dalai Lama proposes a secular ethics as the solution to our materialist world. There will be two discussion group meetings. On Monday, October 8 we will discuss Part II.

On October 19, the Dalai Lama is speaking at Western Connecticut State University, with a live stream of his talk at Central Connecticut State University. This will be part of a day-long Day of Mindfulness program that the Seminary is co-sponsoring. In the afternoon three members of the seminary faculty will be offering a session on contemplative practices of the three Abrahamic religions. For more information, including a registration form, click here

The Seminary also is joining the One Book One Community Project, which has chosen Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World for reading and discussion. The two discussion sessions are part of this project.

In the book, the Dalai Lama advocates an ethics based on universal rather than religious principles. In the forward he writes: ?I am of the firm opinion that we have within our grasp a way, and a means, to ground inner values without contradicting any religion and yet, crucially, without depending on religion.? (p. xiv) And he ends in the afterword with: ?To bring about this better world, therefore, let us all, old and young–not as members of this nation or that nation, not as members of this faith or that faith, but simply as individual members of this great human family of seven billion–strive together??

The Dalai Lama is aware that especially members of theistic religions have many reservations about an ethics without a religious foundation. And still he writes that ?grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate.?

This raises questions of course, among them: How do people with a specific religious affiliation respond to do this? Do they think they have to give up too much to do this? Is there willingness to do this?

Please join us for these discussions.

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