Paris, France—The sixth online interfaith Scriptural Reasoning was held on the theme "Ecology and Spirituality."
The French chapter of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD), a UPF association, organized the meeting on Sunday, August 29, 2021. About 50 French-speakers (from Austria, Belgium, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, United Kingdom, and Switzerland, as well as France) participated “live” on Zoom, with others watching it on Facebook.
Some excerpts of texts on the theme "Ecology and Spirituality” had been sent beforehand to the registered participants.
The moderator was Séline Reymond from the Swiss chapter of International Association of Youth and Students for Peace (IAYSP), an organization that is affiliated with UPF.
The program started with a short introduction by Jean-François Moulinet, coordinator of the interfaith forum Dialogue & Alliance of IAPD-France.
After each sacred text was read, a representative of the respective faith tradition offered a commentary.
Judaism: The texts, taken from Genesis 1:24-31 and Genesis 2:15-20, were read in Hebrew and French by Tirzi Martin and Patricia Martin of the French chapter of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), another organization that is affiliated with UPF. Commentary was offered by Charles Rosilio from the Jewish Community Centre of Les Ulis and the Chevreuse Valley, who spoke about ecology in the Torah and Talmud, the founding texts of Judaism. He first recalled the fundamental principles of the Torah on respect for nature and ecology.
Christianity: The text, St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of Creatures,” was presented in a clip sent to us by the Parish of Saint Maur en Loire et vallée. Christine Kristof-Lardet, an eco-journalist, offered the commentary. Eco-spirituality is in perpetual movement, she said, and she presented us with 10 keys to understand this broad concept.
Unificationism: The text was an extract from Exposition of the Divine Principle. This passage, Eschatology 4.3, was commented on by Jessica Guichard, a mechanical engineer in the field of marine renewable energy, who explained the concept of the Three Blessings. She also related memories of climbing with her two elder brothers, who have climbed the highest point in the south of England.
Laurent Ladouce, a UPF research fellow, coordinated the question-and-answer session.
The next Zoom meeting, with the theme "Peace Starts with Me," was announced for September 19 on the occasion of the International Day of Peace. Rabbi Philippe Haddad of the synagogue on rue Copernic of the Liberal Israelite Union of France and Sheikh Khaled Bentounes, spiritual guide of the Alawiyya Sufi brotherhood, will be among the prominent attendees.
Recording of the event "Ecology and Spirituality" in French: https://youtu.be/hF0qE6PnI_Y