Christianity, Buddhism, and the Baha’i Faith will come together for the first time in Cambridge on Friday 26 October as part of this year’s Festival of Ideas.

It’s a very new thing to be sharing an event with Buddhist and Baha’i colleagues.

Reverend Peter Hayler

Short talks about the traditions and central tenets of these three world religions will be followed by an opportunity for participants to take part in guided meditation and prayer, and afterwards to discuss their experiences.

Dr Rachael Harris, Buddhist Chaplain for the University, will talk about the importance of Buddhist meditation in gaining a better understanding of our relationship to ourselves and to the world.

“We learn a lot from people of other faiths, because we’re all coming at the same issues from different angles,” she said. “In Cambridge we have people of all faiths, and if faith is important to us we should be finding a way of sharing rather than seeing this as a problem.”

Dr Nasim Mavaddat from the University Baha’i Society will represent the Bahai’i Faith. Founded in Iran in 1844 this is the world’s youngest religion, which teaches that religions should unite humanity and elevate us above wars and disputes. “Prayer and meditation are like food and water for our soul”, said Mavaddat. “They have a transforming power, helping people to find higher meaning in their lives, and can be the solution to finding true happiness in a chaotic and materialistic world.”

“It’s a very new thing to be sharing an event with Buddhist and Baha’i colleagues, which I hope will be a relevant and accessible witness to the life of faith in a pluralist age,” said Reverend Peter Hayler, Chaplain to University staff. Reverend Hayler will represent Christianity in a short talk about the traditions of common prayer and the Christian meditative practice of Lectio Divina.

“This event will provide an opportunity to learn about different traditions, and to experience the power of prayer and meditation from different perspectives,” added Mavaddat. “We’re all humans living a shared experience on this planet, and by walking a spiritual path together we might find much common ground”.

The power of prayer and meditation is open to people of all faiths and none, and takes place on Friday 26th October, 8pm-10pm, in the Latimer Room at Clare College on Trinity Lane in Cambridge.

For more information on the 2012 Cambridge Festival of Ideas or to request a programme, please visit or telephone 01223 766766.

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