THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 – 4 p.m.
URI MULTICULTURAL CENTER — HARDGE FORUM
Let There Be Light: Experiences of Inner Light and Enlightenment
across the World’s Sacred Traditions by Art Stein
Arthur Stein (Art) is known internationally as an educator, author, interfaith participant, and scholar-advocate in the areas of peace studies and nonviolence. He received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965, and that same year began teaching in the Political Science Department at URI. Art was one of the co-founders of the URI Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies, advocating for peace, mindfulness and wisdom traditions as important aspects of the Center’s curricular offerings.
Within the world’s religious scriptures, many significant passages involve light—be it the “burning bush” experience of the lawgiver Moses on Mount Sinai, the “light brighter than a thousand suns” of which the Bhagavad Gita speaks, or the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth, “If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be filled with light” (Matthew 6:22, KJV). One common thread among inspiring great teachers, sages and practitioners of spiritual traditions have emphasized throughout the ages is that Inner Light and enlightenment can be most directly accessed by going within, utilizing meditation, prayer and other contemplative practices. He has been a long-time student of comparative religion and mysticism, ethics and meditation, and has just published Let there be Light, co-authored with Andrew Vidich.
Today, humankind collectively is faced with a host of great challenges: political, socio- economic, and ecological. A number of questions emerge. Simply put, can enough persons of goodwill find sufficient common ground to come together and live into being a unifying ethos for humanity? Can our daily thoughts, words and actions become consistent with the name given our species: homo sapiens (wise people)? What will it take to build a nonviolent, sustainable world based on lovingkindness, compassion and social justice? How do we re-kindle the glow of “these little lights of mine & thine” to help make this vision a reality? Come join in!