Thomas Block is author of five books, a playwright, is a 25-plus year exhibiting visual artist, and Founding Producer of New York City’s International Human Rights Art Festival (ihraf.org). Thomas was the Founding Producer of the Amnesty International Human Rights Art Festival (2010), a Research Fellow at DePaul University (2010), LABA Fellow (NY, 2013-14), Hamiltonian Fellow (2008-09) and recipient of funding and support from more than a dozen foundations and organizations. He has spoken about his ideas throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Turkey and the Middle East. His books include the non-fiction works Shalom/Salaam: A Story of a Mystical Fraternity, A Fatal Addiction: War in the Name of God; Machiavelli in America, Prophetic Activist Art: Handbook for a Spiritual Revolution and a novel, The Fool Returns. tomblock.com.
This particular interview is dedicated to discussing together Shalom/Salaam: A Story of a Mystical Fraternity. Over the course of the interview we learn that this study is unique (one of a kind), and we learn why. An engaging and encouraging journey.
Professor Joseph Terwilliger is a multi-faceted and multi-talented figure, fascinating in all the fields of his interests and professional pursuits and achievements.
Joseph Douglas Terwilliger is an American geneticist and professor of neurobiology at the Columbia University Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. In addition to his scientific research, he is known for accompanying retired basketball player Dennis Rodman on his visits to North Korea, where he serves as Rodman’s translator
In due course, the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA) will interview Professor several more times to cover important topics of current concern. This first interview discusses the Genetics as an academic discipline, and touches on many of the unique areas of research in this area conducted by Professor Terwilliger.
Mr. Safi Kaskas is both a spiritual scholar as well as an entrepreneur and consultant in strategic planning, leadership and business ethics with an emphasis on strategic management in the corporate and academic worlds. He is a co-founder of East West University, Chicago, IL; and a Senior Researcher in Islam and Multifaith Reconciliation with George Mason University, Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution
We hope you enjoy this interview with Mr. Kaskas, as we examine together key spiritual, theological, and doctrinal questions relevant to relations between Islam and Christianity. The interview is enlightening, and moves to some poignant, rich, and encouraging places
We are very fortunate for the good will and availability of Dr. Craig Considine, who has served the mission to improve Christian – Muslim relations conscientiously and sacrificially.
Dr. Considine is energetic, productive, and has enjoyed good success in his efforts. His writing and work is insightful and path breaking, and the fruits of this interview continue this good blessing. Interesting, constructive, and valuable information comes forward in this conversation
Dr. Craig Considine, photo credit http://www.drcraigconsidine.com/about.html
Dr. Drissa Kone was raised in a northern Cotes D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) village, and came to the United States in 2007. In gentle but industrious ways, Dr. Kone followed a path of dedication and service resulting in his recent appointment to Director of the Doctoral Program for Unification Theological Seminary.
Dr. Drissa’s The Path to Peace: Transforming Pain into Love, based on personal life experiences and careful research, provides the source material for this interview. These experiences in conflict ridden Cotes D’Ivoire (at the time) and subsequent research into dynamics of personal transformation comprise the content of this fascinating exchange.
Dr. Drissa Kone
Dr. Kone’s experiences, and insights for transcending the evils of injustice offer important insights and recommendations to help guide our relationship to current challenges regarding race and histories of injustice
We are blessed and privileged to have time with Professor Hanoch Ben Pazi of Bar Ilan University who spent time in South Africa researching Post Apartheid, South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The special benefit of this work is its extreme relevance to the race-related challenges that have erupted and persist in the United States, and now continue worldwide. There is so much to learn from this research, both to understand our current moment, and to understand our respective personal obligations in this time.
Please be sure to listen to this valuable exchange
Professor Hanoch Ben Pazi
Professor Ben Pazi, as you will hear in the program is Chair of the Dept. of Jewish Philosophy at Bar Ilan University (Israel). He researches Contemporary Philosophy and Modern Jewish Thought, especially the philosophical writings and Jewish thought of Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jacques Derrida. Professor Pazi writes on ethics, contemporary philosophy and modern Jewish thought in the framework of religious studies and Interreligious dialogue. His books include: Interpretation as Ethical Act: The Hermeneutics Of Emmanuel Levinas, and Emmanuel Levinas: Educational Contract: Responsibility, Hopefulness, Alliance
Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov was a Soviet geneticist, botanist and agronomist, and collector of one of the world’s largest seed banks, who was sentenced to death in July 1941 for defending scientific truths about genetics. While he escaped his death sentence, he lived the last twenty years of his life in a Soviet labour camp, disgraced and ostracised. His crime was to have criticised Lamarckian inheritance–the notion that changes to an organism in its lifetime can be passed on to offspring via genetics. Because Lamarckian inheritance emphasised the importance of the environment it was the favoured evolutionary theory among the socialists and communists of the time, and thanks to the advocacy of Trofim Lysenko, scientists who departed from this orthodoxy were shunned, persecuted, and in the case of Vavilov, sent to a gulag. When the siege of Leningrad occurred, Vavilov and a group of botanists who were holed up in a secret vault, famously chose to starve themselves before consuming their seeds, which they were preserving for the sake of humanity. While Vavilov died in obscurity, he is now recognised as one of the greatest Russian scientists of all time.
This riveting, haunting, and informative interview touches on a phenomenon of intense impact that moves the listener to concerns of the heart, and to a deeper grasp of delicate geopolitical realities of our time.
Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami is a world figure of our time who both inherited and embodies the profound spirituality of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu), the founder of his tradition and of his family.
This interview draws from the seminal work and research into Acharya Goswami’s life and work by renowned scholar John Stratton Hawley , Claire Tow Professor of Religion at Barnard College, Columbia University, Krishna’s Playground: Vrindavan in the 21st Century (Oxford 2020).
Professor Charles Selengut continues his important scholarship, taking on challenging and controversial issues with courage and rigor.
In this episode of the PWPA Scholars interview series Professor Selengut discusses his recent article “The New Anti-Semitism” published in The Jewish Standard , in which he posits the dire prospect that Jewish life in America teeters on the brink of radical change, a kind perhaps too haunting to entertain.
The interview examines evidence, implications, and causes. It is captivating:
Near the opening of the article, Selengut writes:
The current wave of anti-Semitic knifing and murderous attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions all over the United Sates, most prominently in the greater New York area but also in places like Texas and Pittsburg, rightly have frightened and terrorized many Jews about their safety in the United States. Rarely a day goes by without a report of harassment or violence in Jewish neighborhoods. These horrific attacks, however, are but an outward sign of the radically changed position of Jews and Judaism in America.