“The Compassionate City”
Hub Talk by Karen Armstrong
Musical performance by Basma Edrees and Loay Dahbour
Friday, July 26—6:00-9:00pm
General Admission FREE
A light dinner will be served at 6:00pm. Please reserve your free tickets online through our ticketing page.
“The Lost Art of Scripture”
A Retreat with Karen Armstrong
Saturday, July 27—10:00am-1:00pm
General Admission FREE
Refreshments will be served at 12:00pm. Please reserve your free tickets online through our ticketing page.
Hub Talk—“The Compassionate City”
“A compassionate city is an uncomfortable city! A city that is uncomfortable when anyone is homeless or hungry. Uncomfortable if every child isn’t loved and given rich opportunities to grow and thrive. Uncomfortable when as a community we don’t treat our neighbors as we would wish to be treated.”-Karen Armstrong
The ideal city has been imagined by Confucius in The Analects, Plato in The Republic, Al-Farabi in The Virtuous City, and by many other philosophers and sages. Based upon her celebrated book Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, The Charter for Compassion and her work partnering with various cities around the world, Karen Armstrong will discuss “The Compassionate City” in both theory and practice. The Bay Area seems to be thriving. Yet, there remain many marginalized individuals and communities who do not have regular access to food, shelter, education, employment and other basic needs. How can we help make it possible for all members of our community to thrive? The Compassionate City is built and sustained by people with compassionate hearts willing to lend their time, resources and concern to those society has forgotten. Join us for a special talk with a living luminary who can help us transform society and ourselves in the process. The evening will commence with a musical performance by the talented violinist Basma Edrees and Loay Dahbour on percussion.
A light dinner will be served at 6:00pm. For every meal served at our events, we donate a meal to someone in need.
Children ages 2-10 are welcome for storytime and game. Please reserve children’s tickets where tickets for the event are reserved. Space is limited.
Retreat—“The Lost Art of Scripture”
In this intimate retreat Karen Armstrong will discuss findings from her forthcoming book The Lost Art of Scripture: Rescuing the Sacred Texts, where she questions the misappropriation of the Torah, the Bible and the Quran by religious fundamentalists. Too often our sacred texts are used as a justification to deny rights to others. In her book, Karen argues that narrow and literal readings of scripture are actually relatively recent and modern. For most of their histories, the world’s religious traditions have regarded the sacred texts as tools that enable the individual to connect with the divine, to experience a different level of consciousness, and to help them engage with the world in more meaningful and compassionate ways. Join us for a discussion and retreat on how can we recover creative and inclusive readings of our sacred texts.
Refreshments will be served after the retreat at 12:00pm.
Children ages 2-10 are welcome for storytime and games. Please reserve children’s tickets where tickets for the event are reserved. Space is limited.
Karen Armstrong is among the most original and inclusive speakers on the role of religion in the modern world. Her bestselling books and sought-after talks examine the differences and the profound similarities between Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and their impact on world events. She has been described as “perhaps the world’s best-known living writer on religion.” In 2008, she was awarded the TED Prize, which she used to call for the creation of a Charter for Compassion, which was inspired by thousands of contributors around the world and unveiled in November 2009. She is the author of Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, The Spiral Staircase, Buddha, St. Paul, Muhammad, and her forthcoming book The Lost Art of Scripture: Rescuing the Sacred Texts.
Basma Edrees is an outstanding violinist and vocalist from Egypt who studied at the prestigious Juilliard School for Performing Arts and was an honorary performer at the Operosa Festival, the only opera festival in Montenegro. She is also the Music Director of the Aswat Women’s Ensemble, the Bay Area’s only female Arab music ensemble designed to empower women.