I am very excited to be an ambassador for Scottish Interfaith Week! Here are the events that I will be attending in the Edinburgh and Glasgow area:
-November 15th in Edinburgh at the Quaker Meeting House, 7:00-9:00pm “Religion and the Media”
-November 16th in Glasgow at the Jewish Archive Center, Garnethill Synagogue, 6:30-8:30pm, “Misrepresented and Misunderstood?”
-November 17th in Glasgow at Andalus Mosque, 7:30pm-9:00pm, “Could Fasting Change the World”
I am really looking forward to these events that I picked out because each of them is organized by a different faith organization. The theme this year is “Religion and the Media” for all the events across Scottish Interfaith Week and I look forward to this discussion at each of these events in the upcoming week.
As someone who has devoted their undergraduate and postgraduate studies to the area of Theology and Religious Studies, I believe there is a strong relationship between religion and media and more importantly, this relationship needs to be addressed and discussed more today.
The first event on my schedule is in Edinburgh at a Quaker Meeting House. As a fellow Pennsylvanian from the United States, I grew up in the state that was named after Quaker, William Penn. I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, which is known for its Quaker history and its strong Quaker influence, which still exists today in Pennsylvania. I look forward to the conversation in Edinburgh and hope to see many people there.
My second event is in Glasgow at the Scottish Jewish Archive Center. The theme of this event on November 16th is ” Misrepresented and Misunderstood?”. This event will look at Islam, Judaism and Atheism and explore their media depictions and how the impact of media can have an effect on community relations. I think this event is extremely important following the outcome of the United States Presidential election, due to the fact that many faith groups might feel alienated and misrepresented by certain political parties that have taken a stance in the media commenting on certain religious denominations.
My third event will also be in Glasgow at the Andalus Mosque on the theme, “Could Fasting Change the World?”. I found this event particularly interesting for my own faith journey, since I fast during the liturgical season of Lent in the Catholic Church. I look forward to hearing what fasting means to many different religions and how the media plays a part in this topic.
Wrapping up this post, I would like to say that as an American witnessing the recent American election results, I believe that this year’s Scottish Interfaith Week theme of “Religion and the Media” could have not come at a better time.
The relationship between the media and religion is a complex and multi-issue relationship. I look forward to attending these three different faith events during Scottish Interfaith Week because it will give great insight into the current issues and considerations that are important to different religious groups and organizations, not just in Scotland, but all around the world.
I hope you join me in my journey as a Scottish Interfaith Week Ambassador.
-Mary Catherine O’Reilly-Gindhart