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This interfaith dialogue event is part of a series organised by Concord Leeds Interfaith Fellowship discussing the views of different religions to violence in the world today.

Each event has two speakers from different, often radically different faith traditions sharing their own religion’s perspectives on the causes and solutions to violence and then fielding questions and comments from the audience.

At this event, the dialogue is on Buddhist and Jewish views of violence and will be led by Rabbi Jason Kleiman of Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue, Leeds and David Midgley, Buddhist teacher, Trustee and former Director of Jamyang Buddhist Centre Leeds.

Violence can take many forms; physical, mental and spiritual. It occurs in many contexts including the home, against children, in the workplace, in criminal activity, political extremism, terrorism, civil conflict and war. Much ‘entertainment’ today is based on violence, even cartoons for children.

Through discussion and dialogue we will be exploring religious perspectives on why some people are more violent than others and why violence is often used in response to, or as a solution to problems. What explanations do their respective faith traditions give for the causes and the ‘cure’ to violence in the world today? What limits does it set and are there exceptions, e.g. circumstances in which violence is permitted or even demanded, such as punishment of offenders or ‘just’ war? How far does your faith use violent imagery in its scriptures, stories, artefacts, artistry, and to what end?

This event is free and people of all faiths and no faith are welcome to attend. Please let us know you will be joining us by emailing smile@jamyangleeds.co.uk.

About Concord Leeds Interfaith Fellowship:

Concord Leeds Interfaith Fellowship is one of the oldest interfaith groups in the UK, founded 40 years ago. It exists to foster friendship, trust, tolerance, understanding and co-operation among members of the faith communities of multi-cultural Leeds.

The group also works closely with the Leeds Faith Forum and is affiliated to the national Interfaith Network for the UK. Concord is a registered Charity with a secretary, treasurer and executive committee. Some of the faiths Concord brings together:  Baha’is, Brahma Kumaris, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Pagans, Sikhs and others.

Its aims are:

  • to advance public knowledge and mutual understanding of the teachings, traditions and practices of the different faith communities in the Leeds Metropolitan District, and to nurture respect and friendly relations by facilitating interfaith dialogue and organising educational and cultural events;
  • to promote and to work for justice, peace and social harmony for the public benefit in the multi-cultural Leeds Metropolitan District by advocacy, by focused public events and projects, and by co-operating with other organisations that have similar objectives.

About Jamyang Buddhist Centre Leeds:

Jamyang Buddhist Centre Leeds was founded in 1996 under the spiritual direction of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. As a non-residential centre run by volunteers and two staff, our aim is to provide a peaceful place for meditation and a community of support for the study and practice of Buddhism. We honour the work of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and are affiliated to the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) which is part of the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Jamyang Buddhist Centre Leeds regularly host Geshe Tashi Tsering, the resident teacher at Jamyang Buddhist Centre in London, and other highly respected Buddhist Lamas and teachers – both lay and ordained from the FPMT network. As a registered charity, our aim is to make teachings available to anyone who requests them. The geographical area we serve is mainly Northern England but some students travel to us from all over the UK.

We offer weekly meditation classes, suitable both for beginners and those with meditation experience, as well as a dynamic programme of courses. We run residential retreats twice a year and on some weekends there are group practice sessions where we try to work more deeply on purification techniques. Everyone is welcome to attend our classes and courses. The building has a small lift for easier access.

A note about our name: Jamyang is the Tibetan name for the wisdom aspect of the enlightened mind. Another translation of the word is Gentle Voice.