World Interfaith Harmony Week 2012 Gathering

Last Tuesday 7 February The Matheson Trust and The Woolf Institute celebrated together the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week 2012. On the grounds of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, representatives of five major religious traditions joined us to share with the audience live performances of some of their most significant prayers and sacred songs.

gathering 2012 collage

After a brief welcome and introduction by Josef Meri and Juan Acevedo, the different presenters gave voice to the Vedas, the Buddhist scriptures, the Torah, Christian hymns and the Qur’an for a truly exceptional and inspiring afternoon.

This is an excerpt from the opening words:

“The pitfalls of expression are always lurking in interfaith exchanges, and those engaged feel as if treading on thin ice lest they are misinterpreted and then misquoted and misjudged… how could it be otherwise, if what is involved is trying to express what is beyond words and even beyond language?

“…music easily presents itself as a sufficient vehicle, or in any case as a subtler vehicle… reaching inwards, or upwards, or at least, through its rhythm, closer in language to our beating hearts, and even closer when use is made of the human voice as an instrument. True and timeless bridges between the corporeal and the subtle realms, we don’t seem to be able to determine exactly where is it that our intonations and invocations spring from, and how far they reach in their subtle repercussions.”

Please follow this link to our Library for full details and to listen to the audio recordings.