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Religious Futures: Two Decades Later
by staff writer, Jul 15, 1998
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Recently we marked the twentieth anniversary of events in Toronto, which gave birth to the World Network of Religious Futurists (WNRF). To mark this occasion WNRF Chairperson, Rev. Dr. Richard Kirby restated the overall goals of this professional association.

*    to study theory and method in futurism itself from the religious and/or theistic/ethical viewpoint assumed in the world religions;
*    to encourage world religious leaders to engage in dialogue with professional futurists;
*    to develop the scholarly field of religious futures studies as an independent theological, religious and scientific discipline which facilitates contributions to human society by the religions;
*    to support every level and kind of healthy religious creativity in the service of humanity;
*    to stimulate inter-religious dialogue and collaboration in the service of suffering humanity; and
*    to encourage regional, national and confessional networks of Religious Futurists.

As a professional association of scholars, the World Network of Religious Futurists achieves its overall goals by engaging in these 22 activities:

1. Increase its own collective intelligence, its excellence, its inspirational quality.

2. Experiment with new media to demonstrate profound creativity comes from the Lord of the New.

3. Give opportunities for new voices, new talents to be heard.

4. Be a community by which potential or actual religious futurists are attracted to membership.

5. Provide a habitation (in several senses) for religious-futurist scholars; develop the tradition (including archiving) of religious-futurist scholarship.

6. Develop curricula with which religious-futurist scholarship can be advanced and communicated to serious students.

7. Support the development of accountability in comparative religion, spirituality, theology and mysticism.

8. Integrate management and religious studies.

9. Provide for a doctrine of future inspiration, thus defining the Muses of the Religions of the Future.

10. Train consultants who can work for those leaders who are defining and facing 21st century issues for society.

11. Provide a critical forum for 'prophetic voices' to be heard - nourished - critiqued.

12. Dialog with futures studies about its values and underlying patterns of thought and belief.

13. Bring together religious-futurist scholars for common support and creativity.

14. Recruit possible religious-futurist scholars from every country and/or tradition.

15. Compile the history of religious-futures studies.

16. Convoke such meetings as are appropriate to its members' calling as religious-futurist scholars, inc. cyber-meetings.

17. Be a religious-futurist scholarly presence at comparative religious convocations such as the "United Religions Organization."

18. Be a consultant to governments about future values education.

19. Develop applied philosophies and theologies curicula to deploy in education in fields such as business, finance, management, sport, art, politics, medicine, sociology, etc.

20. Develop a theology of communication based on the best thought of all religious traditions, for the Information Age and Genome Age.

21. Shape the conscious evolution of future religious/ spiritual/theological traditions and innovations by deliberate efforts of leadership, imagination, scholarship and piety.

22. Help to establish principles of discernment by which religions, large and small, can weed out destructive, myopic, toxic practices, doctrines, and prayers, and supplant them with nourishing ones, to work for the survivability and thriving of the human/sentient/natural races.

Contact Dr. Rev. Richard Kirby via our online form to schedule a print, radio or TV interview on the dynamic field of religious futures.

URL: http://www.wnrf.org/cms/activity.shtml

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