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ICS publishes a quarterly online journal, En Christo: A Journal for a New Christianity, that includes book reviews and commentary relevant to a re-visioning of what it means to be Christian.

En Christo Archive

Peace Memo, a news and info letter is available by email to all participants in ICS programs and other interested persons.

Peace Memo Archive

Institute for Interfaith Relationships (IIR)

An Expression of the Peacebuilding Institute
Rev. Marcia C. Free, Director

Mission Statement

The Institute for Interfaith Relationships is an expression of the Peacebuilding Institute., (www.peacebuildinginstitute.org).

The mission of the Institute for Interfaith Relationships is building mutual respect, appreciation, and celebration among diverse religious, ethical, cultural communities and civic organizations.

Why this mission now?:

  • There is lack of understanding and respect for our diversities that has often resulted in fear, distrust and the dehumanization of people of different religious, ethical and cultural traditions.

  • The Institute for Interfaith Relationships works for a positive appreciation of diversity, espousing compassion as the central asset of religious, ethical, and cultural life, and that any interpretation of sacred writings that fosters violence, hatred, or disdain is illegitimate.

  • Learning practical ways to encounter people of diverse religions, ethics, and cultures, we discover opportunities to learn from each other, living in community together, developing/increasing mutual respect and discovering areas of commonality.

Vision Statement

The Vision of the Institute for Interfaith Relationships (IIR) is accomplishing our mission* through working with diverse, religious, ethical, and cultural communities and civic organizations on commonly identified community concerns, celebrating shared spiritual experiences, arts, educational, and peace building activities.

How this is being accomplished and will be accomplished is through:

  • Participating in interfaith dialogue training in 1 or 2 day retreats annually or biannually, such as the National Council of Churches USA offering of a two-day seminar of experiential learning and coaching for six sessions of interfaith dialogue whose contact is Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana, (shanta@ncccusa.org)

  • Learning about world religions in a six-week class and/ or a one day retreat biannually, such as the six-week course on Islam taught recently at Church of the Savior, United Church of Christ, by IIR’s Director, Rev. Marcia Free (revmcfree@yahoo.com)

  • Participating in the Interfaith Alliance. An alliance across the United States of 75 faith traditions and no faith traditions celebrating religious freedom and challenging the bigotry and hatred arising from religious and political extremism infiltrating American politics.

  • Identifying common community concerns through individual interviews utilizing a community action model such as Direct Action, Research and Training (D.A.R.T., a congregation-based community organizing model with a deliberate process of bringing religious congregations together around shared values and concerns to challenge the economic, political and social systems to act justly.

  • Sharing spiritual experiences and dialogue through a monthly gathering led each month by a different faith community.

  • Sharing artistic events such as the Dances of International Peace. (www.dancesofuniversalpeace.org)

  • Seeking religious, ethical, cultural, and civic organization membership. Seeking business and civic organization investment in the community through monetary support of community action training.

  • Developing a website through the Institutes of Christian Spirituality, part of the Peacebuilding Institute. (www.christianspirituality.org/interfaith_relationships)

Become a Supporting Member of IIR
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Amaladoss, Michael.  The Asian Jesus -- The Asian perspective that Amaladoss unfolds is formulated in terms of a number of images of Jesus that Asians incorporate into their understanding of the Gospel accounts of his life and ministry.  These include the images of the Way (Tao), Guru, Moral Teacher (advaita), avatar, satyagrahi, and bodhisattva


The Necessity of Interfaith Dialogue: A Muslim Perspective
Fethullah Gülen, www.fethullahgulen.org/  

Spirit Matters: A Jewish Prespective by Michael Lerner; Excerpts, Hampton Roads Publishing Co., 2000


Michael Lerner , editor.  Tikkun has created a rather unique reality: a magazine that also functions as the spearhead of a political/spiritual/intellectual/cultural movement composed of Jews and their non-Jewish allies and committed to the healing and transformation of the world (the literal meaning of the Hebrew word "tikkun").  Go directly to the Core Vison and Founding Principles, a brilliant analysis of our times, our need for spirituality, and a vision truly parallel with that of ECAPC.

Vipassana Dhura Meditation Society
Vipassana refers to clear insight into the real characteristics of body and mind. Vipassana bhavana (insight meditation) is sometimes called mindfulness meditation. The technique of vipassana uses mindfulness to note every detail of our mental and physical experience from moment-to-moment, with an unbiased attitude.

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in Knoxville, Tennessee