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July, 2008


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| editorial |
Are American Muslims the New Catholics?
Ahmad Sadri

| creative encounters |
Hindus and Christians celebrating friendship and
facing challenges with hope
Anantanand Rambachan

One Revelation, Two Languages Tamil Veda as a
resource for interreligious thinking

Randall S. Rosenberg

Buddhism & the Religious "Other"
Elizabeth J. Harris

Good Anthropology, Bad Islam?
the pitfalls of steamrolling the Muslim world
Frankie Martin and Hailey Woldt

The Real Threats To World Peace reflections of a
Nobel Peace Laureate

Mairead Maguire

| practically speaking |
Charter for a World Without Violence
8th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates

| reflections |
The Cosmology of Christmas
Theodore Richards

| sacred spaces |
Jim Kenney

| voices of youth |
God's Just Economics
Hannah McConnaughay

| focus on the interreligious movement |
Vision To Action Statements
Interreligious Engagement Project
Hindu Statement

| in review |
Review Article: Four Doorways to Dialogue
Ron Miller

| poetry |
Landlocked in Fur
Daniel Ladinsky |

An Interdisciplinary Haiku

| prayers and meditation |
The Most Peaceful Place
Marcus Aurelius

Meditations from the Taoist and Confucian Traditions

| patrons and editorial board members |

In ancient Indian Buddhism, the stupa was a burial mound. Conical or dome-shaped, stupas came to be regarded as symbols of the victory over death. In one of the most remarkable examples of the evolution of architectural forms, the simple earthen, brick or stone stupa slowly became the multi-tiered pagoda. Probably derived indirectly from the Indic word bhagodi ("divine"), the pagoda was originally a place to house sacred relics, scriptural writings and commentaries. As Buddhism spread into China and then into Korea and Japan, pagodas proliferated.

This example, in the mountainous region of northern China, exemplifies another important dimension of Chinese Buddhism. As Buddhist teachings gained influence at the Imperial Court (after the 5th century CE) and among the noble and educated classes, accommodation with pre-existing Taoist, Confucian and Chinese folk religious traditions became more common.

Taoist shrines often found a place on Buddhist temple grounds. (This pattern later became commonplace in Japan as Shinto shrines grew up in Buddhist temple precincts. The reverse was also often the case.) At the same time, natural settings previously associated with Taoist and folk religion were now adopted by Buddhists as they built their temples, pagodas, and centers of study. Mountains had a long sacred history in Chinese folk religion. Over time, Buddhist architecture found a lasting niche in tranquil montane regions. This pagoda is a beautiful example.

Insight is grateful to Steven Freedman for another entrancing cover photo.

Steven I Freedman has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. He is a retired engineer, world traveler, and enthusiastic photographer.

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