26. Aug, 2016

Launching of the forum

Today the IDF was officially launched as one of the SJTI student association. By this step, we became officially recognize by the isntitute administration and the Students' Forum.


The interreligious dialogue remains the most essential component in facilitating peaceful reconciliation in international relations for the wellbeing of our world as a whole. Wednesday August 24, 2016 was a remarkable and memorable day for a number of religious traditions such as Baha’i faith, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islam and Judaism involved in promoting peace and mutual respect for human sacredness of life. The event was hosted by the Jewish community in the Durban Jewish Club. 

In his welcoming remarks, Cardinal Nippier (Archbishop of Durban) reminded the audience about the sole purpose of coming together by quoting the opening lines of Nostra Aetate, acknowledging the church’s effort in promoting peace, unity and love and strengthening her relationship to non-Christian religions. “We all have one ultimate origin and end which is God Himself. The church reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against men and women or harassment of them based on race, colour, and condition of life or religion”.

The celebration was marked with Prayers from different religious traditions interceding for peace. It was humbling to hear how the interreligious dialogue has become a profound challenge to secular society; especially political leaders should embrace the spirit of dialogue in order to bring about meaningful development, peace and security for the common good of all. In his speech the Nuncio Monsignor Peter Wells highlighted two significant issues, namely peace and reconciliation. He further pointed out that through our religious traditions, we can choose to be bacons of peace and we can choose to become bacons and source of reconciliation and in turn become the instruments of change in the world. The Nuncio eroded to the fact that interreligious dialogue is not about concepts and ideas, but about human life, it’s about you and me. He pointed out that Nostra Aetate was a common sense response to human suffering caused by religious believes citing an example the systematic extermination of six million Jews by Nazi Germany during World War II. The Nuncio encouraged all the religions to make use of Nostra Aetate to engage in dialogue with other religions. He further said that, there is a need to articulate and clarify our religious teachings and cultivate the spirit of mutual respect, love and peace. The Nuncio Peter Wells acknowledged that, there has never been a time in human history when religions are more scrutinised than today.  Hence, there is a serious need for religious communities for openness to dialogue in order to avoid suspension. There is a need to foster and recommend mutual understanding and respect which is the fruit of biblical and theological discussions as well as of fraternal dialogue. Dialogue is one of the expressions of the divinity just like mercy and compassion. Dialogue means to encounter, it means to encounter each other in the divine, to encounter each other in the Truth which transcends us all. Hence, and its ultimate purpose is precisely the mutual respect for each other. Receptive dialogue is essential to interreligious dialogue, the Nuncio said. We need to learn, not necessarily to teach. Mutual respect and understanding go hand in hand with each other. The more we understand each other’s belief system, the more we are able to show respect for each other. We must look forward to the future with confidence together with the findings of science and political efforts to build a just and peaceful future of integrity and respect for sacredness of human life. Fraternal dialogue brings about respect and trust and ultimately makes us bacons of peace and reconciliation.

Rabbi David Rosen in his speech described the slaughter of the Jews as an intrinsic evil that shouldn’t have happened.  Rabbi David Rosen said that there is nothing comparable to such dramatic transformation of the Christian Church for acknowledging that the Jews are not to be regarded as rejected people. Christianity finds its roots in Judaism. The Jews who initially were thought to have been abandoned by God and that Christianity has replaced Judaism. This transformation was one among other essential values worthy celebrating after 50years since Nostra Aetate was promulgated. Rabbi further quoted Blessed John Paul II, saying that, we are all sons and daughters of Abraham and are called to be a blessing to the world, but we must first be a blessing to one another. There is no broken human relationship; no matter how poisonous human, social and political relationships might be, no relationship is beyond transformation, we can and we must be true to ourselves and be bacons of peace and transformation.   

        By Morgan MUSUKUMA


Friday May 20, 2016 meeting.

Today we had our meeting. This meeting was the last of the semester as we enter the period of preparation for exams.

The meeting was chaired by Bro. Eric Vega and was attended by five (5) members. On the agenda we had the following items: membership fee, the final decision on the logo and AOB.

As for membership fee it was suggested that we pay a symbolic amount while bearing in mind that this amount can’t really cover our needs if there is a serious event. Therefore it was suggested that in case of special event the possibility of extra contribution can be discussed. An amount of fifty rand R50) was suggested.

The logo was adopted. Bother Hermann, in charge of the administration of the website, encouraged the members of the group to produce articles in order to keep the blog active and interesting.

It was suggested that in the second semester our meetings should focus on discussion and debates and ideas’ sharing.  We should also focus on making the group known inside and outside of the Institute  


By Hermann KASSI