Friday, September 29, 2006

Interfaith Dialogue on Here on Earth?

September 29, 2006

Hi Guys, It's been a while. I have been madly trying to meet a deadline with the UW Press on my long-awaited book which is due at the end of this month (Yikes!). I've never been without so much sleep for such a long time. I told my husband it was alright with me if he consigned me to the attic or committed me to an asylum. He said, "Please, just promise me you'll never write another book." And this from a man who has stacks of them in every room in the house. Shows you what he'shad to put up with.

Anyway, what with all this flap about the Pope and his humungus gaff about Islam, the thought occurred to me, why not start an ongoing interfaith dialogue right here on the radio, on Here on Earth? Trouble is, such a venture would fly or fail depending on the guests. Do any of you have any suggestions? Know any open-minded rabbis, Imams, or priests? It wouldn't necessarily have to be clerics. Joan Chittister strikes me as someone who might be just right. And I heard a very impressive Imam from Boston on Tom Ashbrook's show about a week ago, responding to the Pope. I would very much appreciate your help with this.

Joe Hardtke, our Techinical Director, is back from Europe, thank God. I hate to let him know how much he was missed. Things went much more smoothly this week, although we did get an inflammatory response from one highly irate listener to Monday's show on "Literature from the Axis of Evil," who claims that if bombs ever start falling on Iran, he's holding me responsible. I do see his point. No wonder some writers from countries like Syria withdrew their submissions once they discovered they would be published in an anthology with such a title.

Any other complaints? We do read them all and post them on our website. Even if it's nasty, we still want to hear from you. We want you to help us shape this program which is still an ongoing experiment.

There will be a Pumpkin Regatta on Lake Mendota this weekend. Maybe I'll see some of you there.

Have a great weekend, especially thoseof you who are headed to Octoberfests.



Anonymous said...


I enjoy listening to your show - your guests and topics are always interesting.

I listen to your show at work, so I can't call in, but I was disappointed this week with the way Christian fundamentalists were stereotyped on your Wednesday program with Dr. Marty. I understand that the most extreme examples make for the most interesting discussions, but those people do not define fundamentalism. They are on the fringe of the real movement.

What I enjoy about your show is the way you inform us other people and their ways of life. I don't always agree with your guests, but I at least feel I understand them better. I guess I was hoping that fundamentalists would be presented more accurately to what they are, instead of this fanatic misconception continually perpetuated by mass media.

If you are ever looking for an articulate fundamentalist, I would suggest Dr. Kevin Bauder of Central Theological Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He would make an excellent guest on your show, and he would be able to extinguish many of the misunderstandings that are commonly held about fundamentalists. He probably wouldn't be what you are looking for for your interfaith dialogue, but he would definitely make for an interesting show without the ranting and raving that typical fundamentalists do when they call in.

Thanks for all your hard work - good luck on getting the book done!


Anonymous said...

Although you didn't mention it (or I didn't see it mentioned in my quick reading of your latest entries), I wanted to thank you for the show you had on about "bioneers." I had no idea this movement existed, but many of the concepts discussed on your show were so enlightening. I have since found a few bioneer websites to learn how I can do more to help with this movement. In gratitude - Monica

Anonymous said...

Contact the student leaders of Dialogue International on campus. DI is very committed to interfaith dialogue, particularly among "people of the book."

Armen said...

I think everyone who is involved in in religious blogging or news reporting should be concerned to promote further inter-faith and Christian-Muslim Dialogue. Today that is such an important issue to prevent the clash of civilizations. Here is a beautiful sample of inter-faith dialogue initiated by the Armenian Church and Syrian Muslim Community appearing at