Jul 14 2022

Spiritual lessons from Hajj

Beautiful spiritual lessons from Hajj: The journey of a lifetime! Joseph Victor Edwin SJ Jul 11th, 2022 (Updated Jul 12th, 2022) Dear Christian Brothers and Sisters: Eid Mubarak! You must be wondering what am I saying to you. I am wishing you a happy feast. I am wishing you a happy feast of sacrifice. Muslims …

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May 24 2022

Helpful Conversations

by Sr Isabel Smyth, SND Ever since the Second Vatican Council Catholic Bishops have met regularly to discuss issues of common concern. These meetings are called Synods and next year there is to be one on the very notion of synodality, on how to make the Church more inclusive and responsive to the needs of …

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May 13 2022

Dialogue on Mary the Mother of Jesus in the Catholic and Muslim traditions

by Sr Isabel Smyth SND I’ve taken part in some interesting interfaith dialogues this last weekend. The first dialogue which didn’t quite turn out to be a dialogue was focussed on Mary the mother of Jesus from both a Catholic and a Shia Muslim perspective. Why it wasn’t quite a dialogue was that the input …

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Mar 9 2022


By Anthony MacIsaac  Austerity is a marker of most religious life in some fashion. Sometimes it is part and parcel of penance, making up for one’s faults or sins. Sometimes it simply delineates pilgrimage, a journey towards God, a turning towards God. Perhaps it is best seen in the light of commitment in faith, a …

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Mar 2 2022

Saving St Mungo’s Museum

by Sr Isabel Smyth SND On 17th February Glasgow City Council announced its budget for the forthcoming year and plans for post-covid recovery. Included in that budget is the statement “ As well as confirming the funding to keep all local libraries open, it will also allocate more than £1 million to reopen community centres …

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Feb 9 2022

On the 2nd Anniversary

A Guest Blog by Devin Watkins, Vatican News Agency Pope Francis: ‘Embrace human fraternity to stop endless destruction’ Pope Francis released a video message to mark the 2nd International Day of Human Fraternity, and urges all people to trod the difficult path of fraternity in order to overcome the prejudices and conflicts that divide humanity. …

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Jan 12 2022

Golden Threads

GOLDEN THREADS REAWAKENED Weaving a Legacy A group of amateur tapestry weavers in Edinburgh have together created this tapestry  Background The tapestry uses golden threads collected by Hedwig Philip which had not seen the light of day for 70 years. Hedwig was a German Jew. She and her husband narrowly avoided the Holocaust. They left …

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Dec 17 2021

Jesus the Jew

By Sr Isabel Smyth This is the season of Advent, the season when Christians prepare for Christmas and reflect on the significance of Jesus for themselves and the world. During these four weeks Christians will be singing advent carols such as ‘O come, O come Emmanuel’ with lyrics that talk of “captive Israel, that mourns …

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Nov 13 2021

Cop 26

By Sr Isabel Smyth SND COP 26 has started, and thousands of people have landed on Glasgow. Today is the day for world leaders and significant individuals to address the conference. Listening to them they all seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet. Environmentalists and young people from developing countries face the conference …

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Oct 20 2021

Have you heard of Faith Plans for People and Planet?

A blog on Faith-based investing, by Yolanda Matro, Committee Member Recently I was invited to attend a Zoom meeting by a friend actively involved in Faith Invest.  Their latest project, in conjunction with the World Wide Fund for Nature, is the Faith Plans for People and Planet. Faith Invest’s main role will be to encourage …

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Sep 24 2021

Common Ground in Dialogue

A Blog Post by Sr Isabel Smyth, Secretary of the Bishops’ Committee for Interreligious Dialogue Last week I was introduced to the work of Dr Peter Admirand who is the Director of the Centre for Interreligious Dialogue at Dublin City University. Dr Admirand was the keynote speaker at a colloquium on ‘Interreligious Dialogue in the …

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Sep 14 2021

Rosh Hashanah: In the Presence of the King

Guest Blog by Rabba Dr. Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts in the evening of 6 September this year, and lasts till the evening of 8 September. It ushers in the Ten ‘Days of Awe’, which continue until the end of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and constitute the high point …

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Aug 19 2021

The Father in Abrahamic Religions

By Anthony MacIsaac Inter-religious dialogue has often touched upon the topic of Motherhood, and there has been a wealth of reflection on this, even unto the apparently radical idea of God as Mother. Not so often, it would seem, has Fatherhood been discussed in this way. In this “Year of St. Joseph” – inaugurated by …

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Aug 2 2021

Lockdown and Interfaith Dialogue

By Bishop Brian McGee – Published originally in ‘The Coracle‘. The pandemic has proved to be a difficult experience for everyone. The lockdown, whose purpose was to save life, inevitably also limited our experience of life. As people of Faith we too felt this keenly. For long stretches praying communally was impossible and when public …

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Jun 2 2021

A Holy Land?

By Sr Isabel Smyth SND, Secretary of the Bishops’ Committee For Interfaith Relations Since my last blog two weeks ago a war has raged in Israel-Palestine. It’s not the only part of the world that’s at war but it is a conflict which affects interfaith relations here in Scotland in a way that no other …

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May 11 2021

 The St Mungo Museum

by Sr Isabel Smyth SND The St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art is a very special place. It’s named after Glasgow’s patron saint who brought the Christian faith to Scotland in the 6th century and designed in the style of the medieval Bishops’ Castle on which site it’s built.  When it was opened …

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Apr 19 2021

A Letter for Ramadan

A Guest Blog from Fr Joseph Victor Edwin SJ Dear Muslim sisters and brothers, Assalam Aleikum! In the month of April this year we will celebrate the advent of the month of Ramadan. I consciously use the word ‘celebrate’, because I have personally experienced and seen Muslim friends-sisters and brothers-really looking forward to the fasting …

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Apr 10 2021

Fr Hans Küng RIP

Vale, Fr Hans Küng:  Priest, Theologian, Promoter of Inter-religious Dialogue and Prophet  by Dr Duncan MacLaren The Swiss theologian, Fr Hans Küng, author of On Being a Christian, a magisterial attempt to ‘sell’ Christianity to the modern world and Infallible?, where he cast doubt on papal infallibility just before the reign of Saint John Paul II, …

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Mar 31 2021

ICCJ President’s Greetings for Pesach and Easter

Guest Blog by Bo Sandahl, ICCJ President | 27.03.2021 The pandemic cannot change facts and life will always find new ways. We will celebrate once more. We will celebrate Pesach and Easter under circumstances to which we are not accustomed. Life goes on and what seemed as abnormal has become ”the new normal.” It is …

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Mar 9 2021

Peace and Hope in Iraq

A guest post, reproducing an article from the website of the Jesuits in Rome FATHER CASSAR: THE POPE HAS SOWN PEACE AND HOPE IN IRAQ By Iacopo Scaramuzzi The Pope “sowed seeds of hope and peace”: Father Joseph Cassar SJ, the Jesuit who leads Jesuit Refugee Service in Iraq (JRS), comments warmly on Francis’ visit …

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Feb 15 2021

A Reflection on Dialogue

A reflection on engaging in online interreligious dialogue – by John Stoer, Member of the Bishops’ Committee For Interreligious Dialogue As someone new to inter-religious dialogue, I am conscious of how important it is and how difficult it is.  I have spent most of my life in a Catholic world: I come from a Catholic family; went …

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Feb 4 2021

World Day of Fraternity

Guest blog – Cardinal Michael Czerny reflects on the significance of the first International Day of Human Fraternity marked on Thursday, in this reflection which is reposted from www.igNation.ca – the blog of the Canadian Jesuits.   4 February has entered the world’s calendar of significant commemorations. On that day in 2019, during his apostolic …

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Jan 26 2021

A Holocaust Memorial Day Like No Other

Guest blog by Nathan Eddy, Interim Director of the Council of Christians and Jews, taken from the 22 January CCJ Newsletter Holocaust Memorial Day, observed across the country on January 27th, will be unique. A year ago, I remember queueing in the rain to get into Methodist Central Hall in Westminster for the national ceremony …

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Jan 17 2021

Virtual Pilgrimages

By Anthony MacIsaac During the difficulties imposed by Covid-19 many of our religious habits have necessarily changed. Among these are habits of prayer, personal and collective. One especially profound form of prayer is the pilgrimage, which has been affected extraordinarily. At its root, the concept of pilgrimage involves leaving one’s normal space, to enter into …

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Jan 6 2021

New Year Resolutions

From the blog of Sr Isabel Smyth – Interfaith Journeys Christmas has been different and difficult for many of us this year but we’ve survived it and we’re now in a period of recovering from card writing, parcel posting, shopping and cooking  – all of which somehow became more insistent this year.  Now we’re back …

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Dec 3 2020

Fratelli Tutti

From the blog of Sr Isabel Smyth  SND – Interfaith Journeys  – An Interfaith Encyclical Pope Francis’ latest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, is an example of what Jonathan Sacks would call side by side interfaith dialogue as distinguished from face to face dialogue.  An encyclical is traditionally a letter to the Bishops of the Catholic world but this …

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Nov 16 2020

Lord Jonathan Sacks

From the blog of Sr Isabel Smyth  SND – Interfaith Journeys  –  Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks Last week Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks died at the age of 74 which is not so old in this day and age.  Although it was known that he was ill his death came as a shock to everyone who knew him, …

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Oct 22 2020

The Future of Faith…

A Guest Blog by Niamh Margaret Dillon. Niamh is a parishioner of St Augustine’s Church, Milton, and wrote an earlier blog about her experience of lockdown on Holy Isle. Niamh now studies law at Edinburgh University. The Future of Faith feature was produced by the Edinburgh Interfaith Association, in partnership with the Coexistence Initiative, as …

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Oct 9 2020

Simchat Torah – an affair of the heart

Why Simchat Torah is an affair of the heart By Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner This blog has been taken from an article written in 2012, published by The Jewish Chronicle. Simchat Torah is the Jewish holiday that celebrates and marks the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new …

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Oct 2 2020

High Holy Days

While the Jewish community are celebrating the High Holy Days Fr Charles Coyle of our committee reports on a meeting of Christian and Jewish clergy. In March this year I was due to attend a Rabbi-Clergy Conference in London, that would have addressed issues facing Christian and Jewish communities today, and, of course, the conference …

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Sep 9 2020

Dialogue and International Aid

Inter-religious Action and Aid and Development Agencies by Dr Duncan MacLaren: Former Executive Director of SCIAF and Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis, and member of the Scottish Bishops’ Committee for Inter-religious Dialogue. He is an Adjunct Professor at Australian Catholic University and completed a PhD on Integral Human Development in 2019. He was made a Knight …

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Aug 20 2020

Why We Dialogue

A personal reflection on why we engage in interreligious dialogue – by John Stoer, Member of the Bishops’ Committee For Interreligious Dialogue After some years of academic study on how the Catholic Church understands other religions and how, as Catholics, we should engage in dialogue with others, I have recently had the opportunity to practise …

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Jul 30 2020

Sharing Scripture – a Bahai and a Christian encounter the Gospel of John

A Guest Blog by Allan Forsyth If you want to build understanding between faiths then you have to build understanding between hearts. I’ve often thought that the best way to describe faith is as a love affair. Beyond their own particular theology, people of faith, it seems to me, are primarily motivated by a deep …

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Jul 20 2020


From the Blog of Sr Isabel Smyth – Interfaith Journeys This week I went to an online interfaith meeting on solitude, something that has been a reality for some people during the self- isolation of this coronavirus period.  For everyone it’s been a difficult time. For some it’s been the separation from friends and family …

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May 26 2020

Lockdown on Holy Isle

A Guest Blog by Niamh Margaret Dillon. Niamh is a parishioner of St Augustine’s Church, Milton, and has spent lockdown on Holy Isle during her gap year. Niamh will soon go to study law at Edinburgh University. The Holy Isle lies across from Arran, spanning only two miles in length but 1000 ft high, and …

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May 17 2020

Jewish Christian Pilgrimage

By The Revd Dr Nathan Eddy, taken From the Newsletter of CCJ. This week the Presidents of CCJ, the leaders of the major Jewish and Christian communities in the UK, started a pilgrimage together. Not physically together, of course; each will use a period of daily exercise to visit the ‘frontline’ of the Covid-19 crisis: …

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Apr 27 2020

Friend or Foe?

Friend or Foe? From Interfaith Journeys – The Blog of Sr Isabel Smyth SND “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness”; so begins Charles Dicken’s ‘A Tale of Two Cities’.  It feels a bit like that today as the …

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Apr 5 2020

A Lent Reflection – Jewish-Christian Relations during Holy Week

Guest Blog by Dr Clare Amos, Taken from the April Newsletter of the Council of Christians and Jews A Lent Reflection – Jewish-Christian Relations during Holy Week In 2020 both the Christian Holy Week/Easter and the Jewish festival of Passover fall very close in time together.  It has, at least in past centuries, been a season …

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Mar 30 2020

Spring Festivals

By Sr Isabel Smyth A global virus has done what we human beings have been incapable of doing – reducing carbon emissions. For the first time in a long time Beijing is without pollution and citizens can see blue sky, the canals of Venice are clear and fish and dolphins are returning. Is coronavirus the …

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Mar 15 2020

The Ethiopian Community in Glasgow

By Anthony MacIsaac During my last trip to Glasgow, a few weeks ago, I took the opportunity to visit a thriving Christian community from Ethiopia. Their Church is one of the most ancient in all Christianity, having split from mainstream Catholicism in AD 451. To most Christians, they often seem forgotten about – indeed, it …

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