Gemma

from Saddleworth, with love

the story

Gemma speaks endearingly about her religious journey and we have glimpses of the perhaps surprising context of her family and working life. Whilst being a gentle presentation, there are nevertheless profound questions in the film about how different faiths can meet the spiritual needs of those who seek to live by truth and love.

the film

talking points

exclusive/inclusive

I was told that I wasn’t being healed because I was reading the Koran.

I heard a voice inside myself saying I am actually innately good.

Can we share how different experiences in life can make us ‘freefall’?

How can religion help or hinder our recovery?

truth & love

We construct rhetorics and ideas and we live by them and not by truth and not by love - that hurts people.

I realised that there is God but God is bigger and broader than we could ever imagine.

What is your experience of dialogue with people of different faiths?

Is the idea of living ‘by truth and love’ helpful in that regard?

In sharing experiences of God what can be learnt?

encountering peace

Of Gemma walking in to the church:

there has to be some residual peace in these places.

Can places of worship in all faith traditions be ‘spiritual’ and sources of peace and wellbeing?

What do you think affects this?

resources

Interfaith Network works to promote understanding, cooperation and good relations between organisations and persons of different faiths in the UK.

Charter for Compassion originated with the call by Karen Armstrong in her TED talk to encourage organisations and individuals to sign up to the Charter. Its central conviction is that the principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, and calls us to always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves.

The Council of Christians and Jews is the leading nationwide forum for Christian-Jewish engagement.

The Christian Muslim Forum is the leading national forum for Christian Muslim engagement.

The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies is an academy for the study of Hindu cultures, societies, philosophies, religions, and languages, in all periods and in all parts of the world.

The various faith organisations have mechanisms for inter-faith dialogue and relationships e.g. The Church of England’s Presence and Engagement initiative and reports.

reading

Books by the late John Hick (e.g. God and the Universe of Faiths) still available.

Karen Armstrong’s many titles cover an understanding of God in different faiths.

‘Christianity and Plurality’ edited by Richard J. Platinga by Blackwell Publisher, 1999

‘Together and Different’ by Torry and Thorley, published by Canterbury Press, 2008. Worth trying to get a copy.

‘Faith, Hope and Love’ by Ray Gaston, published by SCM, 2017 and also by Gaston ‘A Heart Broken Open’ published by Wild Goose, 2010

‘Celebrating Difference, Staying Faithful’ by Andrew Wingate, published by DLT, 2005

‘Trading Faith’ by David Hart, published by O books, 2006

‘Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?’ by Brian McLaren, published by Hodder and Stoughton, 2012

Books by Keith Ward, including one of his latest, ‘Religion in the Modern World: Celebrating Pluralism and Diversity’, published by Cambridge University Press, 2019

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