The Global Congress World's Religions Proceedings 1980-1982 Edited by Henry O. Thompson
This is the fourth volume on the Global Congress of the World's Religions. The earlier volumes contained the proceedings of preliminary meetings at San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles. The first volume also included two conferences on African religion(s) at Barrytown, N.Y. and Bristol, England. All three are available from the Rose of Sharon Press, GPO, Box 2432, New York, N.Y.
The present volume includes the proceedings of Miami, Florida and Seoul, Korea. In 1980, the GCWR was officially incorporated as a nonprofit organization. The Miami meeting marked that official beginning. We include here Dr. Francis Clark's address to the GCWR, and the perspective statements by people from different religious tradition. The discussion that followed brings many more perspectives to bear.
In both the Miami and Seoul meetings we were privileged to hear progress reports on the African Institute for the Study of Human Values. It is progress, indeed, for as one can read in the following pages, the Institute is now an established fact.
In Seoul, the GCWR was twice blessed. The first blessing was an address by Dr. Philip H. Hwang of Dongguk University. As noted there. Dr. Hwang speaks out of his knowledge of several traditions. The second blessing came from His Holiness the Dalai Lama whose personal representatives shared his vision for peace. Several others spoke out of their traditions. In a sense, of course, each of us speaks out of our own tradition. The discussion then represents a sharing of traditions -- a sharing that enriched the participants and which, hopefully, the reader will also find enriching.
In and around these annual meetings, there have been several regional meetings. The meetings in Sri Lanka are recorded as part of the Seoul discussion. Dr. Padmasiri de Silva gave a report and Dr. David Kalupahana added some further comments. Dr. de Silva's paper, "Religious Pluralism: A Buddhist Perspective," will be published in The Experiences of Religious Diversity, ed. John Hick and Hasan Askari (London, 1982). Hopefully the other papers can be published soon.
Dr. Ismail al Faruqi conducted a meeting in Islamabad and his report is printed here in full. Excerpts of both the Sri Lanka and Islamabad meetings were published in the GCWR Newsletters 1 and 2. In May, 1982, Dr. Nagaraja Rao convened a session in Mysore with the theme "Approaches to World Unity." In June, 1982, Drs. R.S. Mishra and L.N. Sharma convened a meeting in Varanasi on the theme "Religion: Today and Tomorrow." Selected papers from Mysore are included here. Hopefully the addresses and discussions can be published soon.
The Trustees of the GCWR, advisers, associate trustees, committee members and friends met for long hours in Miami and Seoul. Much of the time was taken up with preparing for the incorporation and clarifying bylaws. In Seoul, the trustees received a position paper from Dr. J. Gordon Melton. It is published here along with selected other papers as a matter of general interest for those concerned with the GCWR. The Executive Committee of the Trustees met in N.Y.C. in February, 1982. Considerable discussion continued on the purpose of the GCWR and on the ever important questions of financing. The Executive Committee voted to establish seven task forces to carry on the work of the GCWR.
Much of the text has been edited from audio tape recordings. While every effort was made to ensure accuracy in the transcript, there were a variety of problems such as speakers talking too softly or too quickly to catch all their words. Apologies are offered in advance for any errors in this final version.
A great deal of "behind-the-scenes" effort has gone into these meetings and the preparation of this text. A number of the students of the Unification Theological Seminary helped arrange rooms, manned information booths, arranged meals and refreshments, made signs and banners, prepared the first newsletter, wrote letters, helped develop mailing lists, created the book for signatures of those supporting the GCWR, arranged audio taping, photographs, typed, read proof for this volume, etc. God bless them one and all. They are the unsung heroines and heroes of the GCWR. Special thanks to the Rev. Royal Davis for his review of McMahon's Bergson in this larger context.
Ms. Robin Clune Roman did a prodigious amount of typing and re-typing, both of this text and of trustee minutes, In addition to an enormous correspondence with trustees and friends of the GCWR. Her work is here gratefully acknowledged. Thanks are also due to the staff for the final work of printing and the production of this volume. Mr. Arthur Herstein served as production editor, guiding the process from manuscript to final text.
Henry O. Thompson
Secretary to the Board of Trustees