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ALL: Initial IIC Announcement (fwd)

Dec 07, 1994 12:09 PM

The following may be of interest to some theos-l readers.

> Date sent:      Wed, 7 Dec 1994 10:35:00 -0800
> From:           "J. Shawn Landres" <6500land@UCSBUXA.UCSB.EDU>
> Subject:        ALL: Initial IIC Announcement (fwd)
> To:       recipients of list ARIL-L <>

     I N T E R N E T     I N T E R F A I T H     C O N S O R T I U M

         An ad hoc association of online networkers, listowners,
       system developers, writers, poets, scholars, academics, and
        caring human beings interested in spirituality, the search
          for truth, and the spiritual welfare of the human race

                              AN INVITATION

We live in an era of cultural transition, as traditional
boundaries are blurring or collapsing.  These boundaries can
include the geographical borders between nations, the conceptual
boundaries between academic disciplines and sciences, and the
psychological borders between various once-independent cultural

In this context of transition, the emerging global environment of
the Internet provides a medium for projects which transcend these
dissolving borders, and through which new forms of unity can
emerge.  The Internet offers powerful new options for those
persons concerned with the human future and interested in
addressing the problems of cultural fragmentation.

One area of human inquiry that is undergoing intense transition
is religion.  The spiritual instincts of millions of people are
being shaped by these transforming forces, and the "search for
truth", once confined within cultural and geographical borders,
is now subjected to the widest sort of input, derived from
diverse cultures from all over the world.

During this period of transition, the human community faces
dangerous new dilemmas, and is presented with highly desirable
new opportunities.  The "balkanization" of culture is a real
threat, as ethnic and cultural groups attempt to defend
themselves against change, and the blurring of their own
traditions.  Ethnic cleansing is as dangerous today as it was 50
years ago.

But our new global environment of high-speed communications, as
informed by a vast outpouring of new ideas and philosophic
insights, stands in powerful opposition to these fragmenting and
dangerous forces.  Today, given our new insights, and our new
media, cultural groups that may differ significantly can find
ways to come together, to meet with one another, and identify
their common ground.  In such a context, those who prefer to
retain their traditional identities must be respected, and those
who wish to reach for a new and transformed identity, informed by
diverse global sources, must have that opportunity.

Individuals and cultures, regardless of their differences, can
and must learn to live together in constructive ways.  At the
core of this learning process, as the undertaking that can most
clearly identify the common ground of all human culture, is the
process of interfaith dialogue.  Through respectful interaction,
representatives of highly diverse traditions must find ways to
come together to make friends and become comfortable with
differences, and to celebrate and empower what they have in

The Internet Interfaith Consortium is a loosely organized general
association of friends and acquaintances, working together to
promote an improved quality of dialogue on intercultural issues
across the Internet.

Membership in this organization implies very little commitment.
There are no by-laws, no rules, no structures, nothing to agree
to -- except the general proposition that cooperative
communication on intercultural issues is useful and illuminating,
and ought to be promoted wherever possible.

Members of this organization share no common religion, no common
spiritual or ethical or moral agenda, no one single approach to
philosophy or politics or networking or spirituality.  Instead,
what is shared is a general sense of respect for "the other",
with whom we desire to be friends and from whom we desire to
learn -- and a general instinct that by working cooperatively, we
can jointly build a substantial pool of highly illuminating
philosophic, spiritual and scientific insights, that can assist
both individuals and entire cultures as we all jointly undergo
the cultural transitions of our time.

Thus, it is emphasized from the beginning that the IIC is not a
"coalition" (a single unit welded together from diverse
elements), but rather simply an "association".  Members of the
IIC "associate" with one another.  We do not necessarily agree on
anything but the advantages of dialogue, open communication, and
mutual respect.

And we are convinced that by thus associating together, and
employing the new and emerging high-powered tools of the
Internet, we can develop a valuable and illuminating library of
ideas, insights, and connections, from which we all can draw,
each in our own way.

You are invited to join the IIC, and share with us in this
unfolding adventure.

Please let us know of your interest, and perhaps join one of our
mailing lists if you can.

We look forward to your input and your friendship, as the
spirituality of our global culture continues to evolve.

- Bruce Schuman, facilitator
The Internet Interfaith Consortium

To join the IIC mailing list:

The IIC mailing list is operated as a "topic" on the BITNET-type mailing list.  To subscribe to INTERREL,
send the command (one line message with no subject) SUB INTERREL
Your Name (inserting your name) to To join
the IIC mailing list, add a second line to your subscription
command so that it takes the form


Internet Interfaith Consortium
Initial Founding Members:

Dr. Len Swidler, Listowner INTERREL@ and
Dr. Gary Mann, Listowner THEOLOGOS@ and
Dr. Ermel Stepp, Listowner
Dr. Andrew Wilson, Editor _WORLD SCRIPTURE_
Dr. "Zos Imos", Listowner HERMETICA
Dr. Ingrid Shafer, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, USAO
Antony Dugdale, Listowner DIFTX-L@ and
Bruce Schuman, Listowner

IIC web-site:
_World Scripture_ Web-site:

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