Wednesday, February 29, 2012



Bangalore Initiative for Religious Dialogue (BIRD) is happy to announce that the 10th annual Rev. Dr. Stanley Samartha Memorial lecture will be delivered by Dr. David Frawley in Bangalore on 24 March 2012, . He will speak on Pluralism and Universalism in Hinduism

BIRD, as you know, is a low profile organization formed in 2001, by a small group of Hindus, Muslims and Christians in Bangalore, to promote inter-faith amity in line with our native wisdom of promoting inclusiveness for preserving India's religious diversity.

BIRD organizes seminars, consultations, panel discussions and dialogues and an  annual lecture series in memory of Rev. Dr Stanley Samartha, the first Director of the Inter-Faith Dialogue Programme of the World Council of Churches, Geneva. It is the signature event of BIRD’s inter-faith activities undertaken in the cosmopolitan city of Bangalore. It has organized nine such lectures so far.  

It may be recalled that Sir Mark Tully, former BBC’s India chief delivered the ninth Samartha Memorial lecture on 7 October 2010 while Mr. Arun Shourie, the celebrated journalist and author, delivered the eighth Lecture in October 2009 . He spoke on “Rethinking Religions”. The seventh lecture was delivered by Mr. M.J. Akbar, well known journalist and author, presently editor of India Today. The theme was: “The Power of Religion vs. the Religion of Power”. 

Other speakers who delivered the lectures in the past included: Justice K.T. Thomas, former Judge of Supreme Court of India (2007), Dr. Hans Ucko, director of inter-faith dialogue division at the World  Council of Churches (2006), Mar Thoma Metropolitan Bishop Philipose Mar Chrysostom (2005), Prof. M.V. Nadkarni, former Vice Chancellor of Gulbarga University (2004), Dr. C.T.Kurien, economist and Director Emeritus of Madras Inst. of Dev. Studies (2003).

They spoke respectively on: “The Right to Convert & the Indian Constitution”, “Towards and Ethical Code of Conduct”,  “Courage for Dialogue”, “Religion in the 21st Century: A Perspective of Hope”, “Communal Harmony- A Societal Perspective”.

It was Mr. Francois Gautier, author and former political correspondent of Le Fegura , who inaugurated the lecture series and delivered the first lecture to a large gathering at the Bishop Cotton Boys’ School in October 2001 .  He spoke on “The Need for Inter-Religious Dialogue

Over 500 invitees generally attend the lecture, which will also be published as a booklet to help reach a wider community of academicians, students, thinkers and intellectuals, spiritual leaders as well as people involved in promoting inter-religious harmony and understanding. 
BIRD is entirely dependent on small contributions from people of diverse faiths who are strongly convinced about the dire need to preserve inter-faith amity in the true and abiding traditions of India, which is a living symbol of religious diversity and inclusiveness.


Date: Saturday 24 March
Time: 4.30 to 7 p.m
Venue: Rotary House of Friendship, 
Lavelle Road,
Bangalore -1, Karnataka




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