Dr. Thomas Clough Daffern, Welsh educator, author and peace advocate, has formed a new Catholic and ecumenical and interfaith religious and philosophical order, dedicated to the reconciliation of science and spirituality, religious faith and reason.
The Order takes its name from the disciple of Jesus most known to have doubts about the possibility of the resurrection, doubts which were apparently eventually overcome. Thomas also left a Gospel which is more philosophical and mystical in orientation than the 4 famous gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Thomas is also known to have the disciple of Jesus who journeyed to India, through modern day Syria, Iraq and Iran. Many Oriental Christian churches in all those countries, including India, remain faithful to his teachings, and regard Thomas as a key disciple.
The Order has published a Dictionary of Thomas's -- learned scientists, philosophers, theologians, historians, thinkers, heretics, Saint, mystics. Psychologists, social scientists -- which numbers some 680 in total. To gain entry to the Dictionary one must
a) have done something interesting, challenging, intellectually innovative and pioneering and
b) be deceased (there are too many alive at present !)
The Order was founded in August 2007 at the Campo De Tomaso in Venice as the culmination of many years research into the Thomas's tradition. While there have never been any Kings or Popes with the name Thomas, there have been innumerable Saints, mystics and philosophers. The Order maintains this is because the Thomas lineage carries the innermost energy of the authentic Christian mission -- perplexity, wonder, doubt, ecstasy, vision, faith, and love.
The Order is a project of the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy, an international interfaith NGO dedicated to achieving world peace through intellectual reconciliation, theological disarmament and spiritual healing.
The Order is open to membership on the part of all those men and women worldwide, of all faiths or none, who share its aims, which include:
1) to work for the truthful and holistic reconciliation of science and religion
2) to encourage philosophical and intellectual work of the highest order on the part of its members
3) to conduct research into the life and times of all those people throughout history who have ever born the name Thomas and to update the Dictionary of Thomas on a regular basis
4) To found scientific and spiritual academies, colleges and Universities worldwide dedicated to the reconciliation of reason and revelation
5) To oppose all religious and scientific bigotry, hatred, violence, narrow-mindedness, arrogance, intellectual pride and obscurantism
6) To subject religious truth claims to the rigorous scrutiny of discerning intellect, reason and logic
7) To subject scientific truths to the profound and compassionate scrutiny of spiritual empathy, compassion, loving wonder, reflective meditation, and inspiration
8) To encourage the creation of a peaceful world based on the harmonious interplay of the scientific and spiritual dimensions of human nature
9) To support reconciliation, mediation, non-violence, conflict resolution and peacemaking initiatives at all levels of the community, from local through to global, and to support and encourage all agencies, organisations, networks, institutes, centres and projects which aim at creating conditions of lasting and sustainable peace on earth
10) To work for reconciliation also between faiths, particularly between Christianity and Islam, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism and with Indian faiths -- Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, and Christianity and pagan faiths (such as Druidry, Wicca, Amerindian, African, Shamanic, Polynesian and Aboriginal religion etc) - on the basis of common universal truths, shared values, prophetic vision, plus the eschatological co-creation of a world and society of peace, justice, liberty, wisdom and beauty
11) To encourage, support, inspire and refresh the mission of the whole Catholic, Universal, Orthodox, Protestant, Mystical, Gnostic, Esoteric, Intellectual and Ecumenical Christian churches in their authentic mission of bringing healing, hope, mercy, peace, justice and salvation to mankind, in so far as they can be judged to live up to the original spiritual mission and wisdom of Jesus and his closest disciples, namely to anchor the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, through peace, mercy, love, teaching and healing
For further information or to join the Order, please write in for the Enrollment Form and contact the Order Founder, Dr. Thomas Clough Daffern, Director, International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy, Powys, Wales, United Kingdom, 600959, http://www.educationaid.net, Tel/Fax 01938 820586,