International conference June 3-5 to examine religious evolution 'toward a spiritual renaissance'
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- March 29, 2005 -- Weapons of mass destruction do exist in Iraq. Indeed, they exist worldwide. But they aren't the military hardware you might think. They are an arsenal of individual and collective beliefs that proclaims, "My path is the only right path to God."
Close to 1,000 people from around the world -- clergy and laypeople, scholars and students, professionals and laborers, business people and artists, policy makers and concerned individuals of many faiths and traditions -- intend to locate and dismantle those weapons in an international theological conference to be held at Bard College, 90 miles north of New York City, June 3 through 5.
The conference, "Seeds of Transformation: Toward a Spiritual Renaissance in a Time of Fundamental Change" (http://bard.humanitysteam.org), will reveal a trend in which people around the world inspect the spiritual weapons in their arsenal of beliefs, including ideas that we are "better" than others, that we are separate from one another, and in particular that God wants it only one way on this earth and that we had better get it right or we are sure to be condemned.
The groundbreaking event, which will also explore the ramifications of the trend, will feature some two dozen speakers, including world-renowned authors, theologians, scientists, artists and spiritual leaders of Eastern, Western and indigenous faiths.
It is co-sponsored by the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College (www.bard.edu/iat), dedicated to a better understanding of the world's religious traditions, and Humanity's Team (www.humanitysteam.org), a nonprofit, pluralistic educational movement founded by the "Conversations With God" author Neale Donald Walsch.
Besides lectures, panel discussions, seminars and workshops, the conference will feature special screenings of award-winning films depicting the changing religious and spiritual climate, a live theatrical production of a critically acclaimed religious drama, inspiring sculptures and paintings of scriptural figures and spiritual expression, uplifting performances by Emmy and Grammy Award-winning musicians, and an outdoor multifaith prayer service officiated by clergy from a range of faith traditions, among the many activities of intellectual and spiritual enrichment.
The event will also serve as the site of Humanity's Team's 2005 Worldwide Gathering. Dubbed a "civil rights movement for the soul," Humanity's Team -- composed of some 10,000 people from 94 countries on six continents -- seeks to free people from oppressive beliefs about God, life and each other so that humanity can truly experience unity and oneness.
The price of attendance for all three days is $460, including all meals, if paid by April 15; it's $650 after April 15. There are discounts for groups of three or more. Attendees may also register to participate on any single day. Affordable sleeping accommodations on campus are also available.
For more information or to register, see http://bard.humanitysteam.org or call (845) 256-1444.