Religion & Spirituality Series
“The truth was a mirror in the hands of God.
It fell and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece of it,
and they looked at it and thought they had the truth.”
Image: “Expansion” by Paige Bradley www.paigebradley.com
1- Huntington’s "Clash of Civilizations" Reconsidered: Trauma narratives and religious extremism
The Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington described tensions between the Christian West and an Islamic East as a “class of civilizations.” What’s true about this paradigm and what’s false? Is there a way out of this dichotomy? In the talk, Dr. Abadian will suggest that Islam and Christianity are more similar than they are different, and it is what they have in common that is the source of their conflict.
2- Freedom of Religion or Belief: Why it matters and what it really means
We all call out for greater freedom, but are we really willing to be free? What would it truly take? What does it mean to have the freedom of religion or belief? Dr. Abadian will explore these questions and discuss the profound courage it takes to step into the unknown and how to navigate the uncertainty that freedom brings. She will also examine the responsibilities that go along with this freedom, what it takes to claim true sovereignty, and why this matters now more than ever.
3- Spiritual Megatrend: From Homo sapiens to Homo spiritus
Dr. Abadian describes insights indigenous teachings have about the direction humanity is evolving, including in our relationship with God or Divinity. Why might this be particularly relevant or critical during this pivotal time as we undergo the Fourth Industrial Revolution -- the rise of technologies sweeping in at a dizzying and disruptive velocity and scope, soon to blur the lines between what is human and what is machine?
4- Gifts of the Magi: The role of trauma in the reinterpretation of religious narratives
Zoroastrianism is among the oldest revealed faiths, one that has had a profound influence on the Abrahamic traditions. Dr. Abadian will discuss the evolution of Zoroastrian doctrine and suggest that religious interpretations can alter dramatically following experiences of collective trauma. She will discuss 7 things about the tradition that might surprise you, the ways in which interpretations of teachings changed following widespread calamity, and how these interpretations influenced the Abrahamic faiths, particularly Christianity. What does this say about how religious interpretations can become distorted as a result of traumatic experiences, and how to mitigate these effects?
“Sousan Abadian is a collaborator whom I cherish. The sacred fire of the Magi burns brightly in her eyes as she peers through the darkness of age-old conflicts and discerns the path to peace.”
– Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, familiarly known as Sarafil Bawa,
the spiritual leader of The Inayati Sufi Order