Interfaith Exchange Flourishes as OSJCP Visits Mabuhay Temple

 |2023.09.27
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The crux of the exchange unfolded during a Questions and Answers session, where Abbess Venerable Miao Jing and Father Maxwell engaged in a thought-provoking dialogue. The Life News Agency

The Life News Agency
September 27, 2023


On September 26, 2023, in a remarkable display of interfaith harmony, the Oblates of Saint Joseph College of Philosophy (OSJCP), led by Professor Maxwell and Dean Glenn, embarked on a transformative journey with 20 eager students to the serene Mabuhay Temple.

In a remarkable display of interfaith harmony, the Oblates of Saint Joseph College of Philosophy (OSJCP), led by Professor Maxwell and Dean Glenn, embarked on a transformative journey with 20 eager students to the serene Mabuhay Temple. The Life News Agency

Under the guidance of Abbess Venerable Miao Jing and the gracious presence of Venerable Zhipu and Marlene Lao, Secretary of the Buddha's Light International Association (BLIA), the OSJCP students experienced a unique interfaith exchange between Buddhism and Christianity.

Under the guidance of Abbess Venerable Miao Jing and the gracious presence of Venerable Zhipu and Marlene Lao, Secretary of the Buddha's Light International Association (BLIA), the OSJCP students experienced a unique interfaith exchange between Buddhism and Christianity. The Life News Agency

OSJCP students experienced the profound significance of the light offerings in the Main Shrine Hall, shedding light on the deep symbolism and spiritual importance they hold in Buddhist tradition. The Life News Agency

OSJCP, a revered educational institution located in Lipa, Batangas, known for offering a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy sanctioned by the Commission on Higher Education, expressed a desire to bridge the gaps between these two faiths, fostering understanding and enriching the spiritual and philosophical horizons of its students.

During the visit, Venerable Zhipu introduced the OSJCP delegation to the extensive global network of five universities within the Fo Guang Shan (FGS) consortium. This consortium provides an international learning platform for students from across the region. Venerable Zhipu axplained the founder of FGS - Venerable Master Hsing Yun, for his expertise in one-stroke calligraphy, who demonstrated his craft to express appreciation for the donors who wholeheartedly support FGS education.

A highlight of the day was the revelation of FGS's one-million-monthly charity program. This initiative seeks to engage the nation's people in accumulating merit through supporting education for the young and youths, a noble endeavor appreciated by the visiting scholars.

The crux of the exchange unfolded during a Questions and Answers session, where Abbess Venerable Miao Jing and Father Maxwell engaged in a thought-provoking dialogue. Students from OSJCP witnessed this interfaith conversation, where questions delved into profound philosophical and spiritual aspects.

Students from OSJCP witnessed this interfaith conversation, where questions delved into profound philosophical and spiritual aspects. The Life News Agency

From a Buddhist perspective, Abbess Venerable Miao Jing elaborated on practices like asceticism, often seen as a means to detach from desires. She elucidated the meanings of suffering, discussed how one might judge the attainment of Nirvana, and contemplated the whereabouts of Venerable Master Hsing Yun after his Nirvana, a question that has intrigued many.

From a Buddhist perspective, Abbess Venerable Miao Jing elaborated on practices like asceticism, often seen as a means to detach from desires. The Life News Agency

On the other side, Father Maxwell contributed insights from the standpoint of Christianity, offering his perspective on these intricate questions. The interplay of perspectives encouraged students to broaden their understanding and appreciation of these ancient traditions.

Marlene Lao, the BLIA Secretary, extended her support by guiding the OSJCP delegation through the temple's main shrine. She illuminated the profound significance of the light offerings in the Main Shrine Hall, shedding light on the deep symbolism and spiritual importance they hold in Buddhist tradition. Her knowledgeable tour provided the students with a richer understanding of the temple's sacred spaces and practices.

Marlene Lao, the BLIA Secretary, extended her support by guiding the OSJCP delegation through the temple's main shrine. The Life News Agency

The visit to Mabuhay Temple was marked by a spirit of mutual respect, understanding, and the shared pursuit of knowledge. This interfaith exchange between the OSJCP and Mabuhay Temple has paved the way for future dialogues and collaborations between these two diverse yet spiritually enriched worlds.

As the OSJCP students departed, their hearts and minds were filled with a newfound appreciation for the cultural and spiritual diversity that makes the world a rich tapestry of beliefs and traditions. This visit will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on their educational and spiritual journeys, fostering tolerance, understanding, and the spirit of unity.

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