Leslie GriffithsThis year’s peace lecture was given by Rev. Dr Leslie Lord Griffiths, of the Methodist Church of Great Britain.  He is a life peer of the British House of Lords.  Is there are petition to have him released from this life sentence?  I would sign it.

The peace lecture presented by Dunedin’s Interfaith Abrahamite Council exchanges each year between Jews, Muslims and Christians.  This year it was the Christians’ turn.  Griffiths was in New Zealand was in New Zealand for the national interfaith conference in Dunedin, and he stayed on to do the peace lecture.  As well he had a programme of speaking and preaching in New Zealand.

Fans of Flanders and Swan should feel very comfortable with Griffiths’ accent.  I did.

Religious traditions can no longer contain themselves hermetically.  They overlap.  This creates an opportunity to become aware of each other, to appreciate each other with warm affection, to enjoy where we can have common witness and practice.  Religion relates to a community of faith.  God, whom we encounter as the stranger, transcends our identities, our labels.  God does not love humanity — god loves each human individual.

We are in an unstable age, as one Abrahamite religious tradition, Islam, enters its fifteenth century.  Look how Christianity coped with its fifteenth century.  It wasn’t pretty.  The House of Islam is in the middle of this century with its rivalry of puritanic sects and moderates.  Western nations standing to one side, behaving like a prejudicial baseball bat, the House of War, does not help.

At the same time, in the midst of revolutions, it is the springtime of nations.  People of faith, who share a god of peace, unite!

I did not linger to enjoy the supper after the talk.  The winter season is given my throat a touch of bronchitis and I really felt like opening a bottle of wine.