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Swami Chidananda Saraswati | Dr. Paul Knitter | Dr. Sakena Yacoobi
Ralph Singh | Dr. Allison Stokes & Reverend Guo Cheen | Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukari
Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB | Sarah Talcott | Dr. William Lesher | Dr. Michael Nagler

Spiritual Resources Host and Producer: Bettina Gray

Bettina GrayBettina Gray has hosted and produced hundreds of radio and television interviews, including the 27-part series, A Parliament of Souls, which aired over PBS, Vision TV-Canada and in 140 countries and the 13-part PBS series The Creative Mind. Her interviews have profiled writers, artists, musicians, scientists, financial experts, spiritual leaders, and philosophers. She is also the co-founder and current Chair of the North American Interfaith Network. For more, see www.creativefilms.com

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Interfaith Center at the Presidio

Presidio FontLocated at the Presidio National Park's Main Post Interfaith Chapel, the ICP was created to welcome, serve and celebrate the diverse spiritual wisdom and faith traditions of the San Francisco Bay area. We share a common commitment to promote daily enduring interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence, and to create cultures of peace, justice, and healing for the Earth and all living beings. The Interfaith Center at the Presidio (ICP) is a member organization of the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN). 

Swami Chidananda Saraswati is the president and spiritual head of Paramarth Niketan, one of the largest spiritual institutions in India. He is also founder/chairman of India Heritage Research Foundation (IHRF), an international, non-profit, humanitarian foundation. Under Swamiji's leadership, IHRF programs include 43 free schools, women's vocational training programs, a medical clinic, two orphanages and several rural development programs.

Filmed at the Parliament of the World's Religions, Melbourne, Australia

Dr Paul Knitter is the Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions, and Culture at Union Theological Seminary, New York. Previously, he taught theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati. His groundbreaking 1985 book No Other Name? addresses interreligious dialogue, as well as human and ecological well-being. Knitter is on the Board of Trustees for the International, Interreligious Peace Council, which was formed after the 1993 Parliament of the World Religions.

Wikipedia on Paul Knitter

Filmed at the Parliament of the World's Religions, Melbourne, Australia

Dr. Sakena Yacoobi founded the Afghan Institute of Learning, a ground breaking women-led grassroots NGO that supported 80 underground home schools for girls in the 1990's and continues to work to empower girls, women and the disenfranchised across Afghanistan.


Filmed at the Parliament of the World's Religions, Melbourne, Australia

Ralph Singh likes to be known as an ordinary person who continues to have extraordinary life experiences: from the powerful vision that drew him from New York to the feet of one of the world's greatest spiritual leaders, Baba Virsa Singh, in India at the age of 22 to his involvement in the community building efforts surrounding the post 9-11 arson attack on his spiritual community Gobind Sadan, USA north of Syracuse, NY.

He has worked in education developing and teaching a course called "Exploring Spirituality", helped design and name the "Schools of Character" project for the Central NY Education Consortium; has served as Chair of the City County Human Rights Commission. This interview features Stories to Light Our Way -- stories from the world's traditions and cultures, specially written or adapted for children by Ralph Singh.

Filmed at the Parliament of the World's Religions, Melbourne, Australia

Dr. Allison Stokes is Director of Religious and Spiritual Life at the University of Rochester, and former Director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence there. She is also Founding Director of the Women's Interfaith Institute.

Reverend Guo Cheen is an ordained nun in the Mahayana Chan tradition. She is a Buddhist teacher working with the Compassionate Action Network and is helping to grow a women-of-faith network in North America

Filmed at the Parliament of the World's Religions, Melbourne, Australia

Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukari, a Sheikh of the Naqshabandian Religious Method (Sufi) and head of the Uzbeke Community in Jerusalem, is an Uzbek. He is a leading Muslim voice for peace and reconciliation in Jerusalem. He also hosts the Uzbek Cultural Centre of the Holy Land in his home.


Filmed at the Parliament of the World's Religions, Melbourne, Australia

Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB is a noted national and international lecturer who focuses contemporary religious life and spirituality, on women in church and society, human rights, and peace and justice issues. In addition to being the executive director of Benetvision, a centre for contemporary spirituality located in Erie, Pennsylvania, she is author of 22 books, including Illuminated Life: Monastic Wisdom for Seekers of Light and The Story of Ruth: Twelve Moments in Every Woman's Life.

Filmed at the Parliament of the World's Religions, Melbourne, Australia

Sarah Talcott has been working in the field of interfaith cooperation and understanding since 1999. As the Youth Programs Director for the United Religions Initiative (URI), she coordinates the URI Global Youth Network, which currently comprises more than 450 young people from 64 countries who are engaging each other through social media and face-to-face encounters across boundaries of geography, religious identity and cultural difference. She has organized and facilitated interfaith youth exchanges, leadership intensives and community projects in the USA, UK, India, Jordan, Cyprus, Spain, Brazil and Peru, weaving together programs of interfaith and intercultural learning with community service and peace building activities.

United Religions Initiative

Filmed at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio

Dr. William Lesher has as a long and distinguished career in promoting global interreligious dialogue. Having served in Geneva with the World Council of Churches, and as president of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, he became president of Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He served there for 20 years and established the Chicago Center for Religion and Science. He currently is a trustee of the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia and a member of the Board for the Global Ethics and Religion Forum.

Filmed at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio

Dr. Michael Nagler is founder the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at UC Berkeley, founder and president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence Education, chair of the board of PeaceWorkers, co-chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Association and and co-founder of Educators For Nonviolence. Michael Nagler is recipient of the 2007 Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Outside India. His books include America Without Violence,The Upanishads (with Sri Eknath Easwaran) and The Search for a Nonviolent Future, which won the 2002 American Book Award. Michael Nagler is a student of Sri Eknath Easwaran, Founder of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation and has lived at the Center's ashram in Marin County since 1970. 

Filmed at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio


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