SHEM, an Aramaic language root sound with layers of meaning expressing the Divine radiance and splendor in all creation
The SHEM Center for Interfaith Sp[irituality was founded during the Parliament of World's religions held in Chicago in 1993.
Welcoming men and women, the spiritual sojourners of all traditions into a circle of mutual respect, we reverently approach the spiritual paths of the people of the world.
In experiencing the prayer, meditation, and ritual traditions of others, the universal yearing for the Divine found within the recesses of the human spirit is encountered. Within the sacred time and sacred space of retreats and other programs, the unnameable Mystery known throughout the world my many names becomes the ONE toward whom we journey.
With hospitable hearts we appreciate and hold in esteem those different from ourselves, and move toward embracing one another with generosity and loving kindness.
In respectful interdependence with all living beings, we approach the Source of all life, honoring and celebrating a rich diversity of spiritual paths.
With gratitude and courage we accept the mandate of spiritual leaders of the past and the present who call us to this sacred work.
"Religions found everywhere strive in different ways to answer the restless searchings of the human heart by proposing 'ways,' which consist of teachings, rules of life, and sacred ceremonies. The Catholic Church rejects nothing which is true and holy in these religions...The Church exhorts her members to prudently and lovingly dialogue and collaborate with the followers of other religions."
Declaration of the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Pope Paul VI, October 28, 1965.
"The dialogue with other religions puts on trial the absolute pretensions of Christianity. Is it the definitive carrier of God's revelation and liberation of people?...This dialogue implies an attitude of listening and interculturated presence absolutely free from every form of colonialism, imperialism, and fanaticism... Inter-cultural and religious dialogue makes this challenge a priority in the Dominican mission."
Acts of the General Chapter of the Order of Preachers, Avila, Spain, 1986.
"If each spiritual nation practices faithfully the path revealed through its own prophets, then all humanity will return together to the Source of Love."
The Holy Quran, 5.49-52.
"The attitude that one form of religion is the best should no longer be tolerated. This attitude has become a source of conflict and brutality. If we sincerely practice our religion and go through an inner transforrnation, it becornes possible to understand the value of other religious traditions. In that way, mutual respect and understanding will develop."
Keynote Address, final Plenary Session of the Parliament of the World's Religions,
H.H. The Dalai Lama,Chicago,September 5,1993.
"We commit ourselves to respect, understand, learn, and benefit from the religious, spiritual, and cultural traditions of our neighbors. We pledge never to loose sight of a future characterized by common cause and hope."
The Chicago Commitment to Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation, 1993
"The human community and the natural world will go into the future as a single sacred community or we will both experience disaster on the way."
The Cosmology of Religions, a talk delivered by Thomas Berry at the Parliament of the World's Religions, September 3, 1993.
"Religious freedom...is the basic guarantee of every other expression of freedom. It intimately touches the individual in that inviolable sanctuary of the conscience, where the human being encounters the Creator and is fully aware of his or her own dignity. ...Sincere faith does not divide people but rather unites them despite their differences...True religious freedom rejects any temptation to intolerance and sectarianism and fosters attitudes of respect and constructive dialogue."
Address to the People of Albania, Pope John Paul II, April 25, 1993.
"May they all be one."
The Farewell Discourse of Jesus, John 17:21.
Your participation, prayers and
financial support will help the work
of SHEM Center to continue.
is tax deductible.
For More Information about these programs and for a complete listing of all the offerings of
SHEM Center for Interfaith Spirituality write:
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