Interfaith festival to focus on nonviolence May 17-21 Marnie McAllister, Record Editor

Pathways to nonviolence will be the focus of the more than two dozen speakers and artists slated to appear at this spring’s Festival of Faiths.

The annual event, sponsored by the Center for Interfaith Relations, is set for May 17 to 21 at Actors Theatre of Louisville, 316 W. Main St. It will feature writers, thinkers, artists and activists from a variety of backgrounds, including Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist traditions.

The Festival of Faiths will commence on May 17 with the annual Interfaith Prayer Service at 5:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Assumption.

On the first full day of the festival, May 18, Arun Ghandi, grandson of the human rights leader Mahatma Ghandi, and the Rev. Allan Boesak, a theologian, author and advocate for social justice, will take part in a program with Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz. The program, called “Sacred Wisdom: Love Thy Neighbor,” will begin at 10 a.m.

The daily schedule during the Festival of Faiths begins with an 8:30 a.m. “spiritual practice,” which will be led by a representative of a different faith tradition each morning. The spiritual practice programs are free, but tickets are required. Tickets to all other events are $25 each.

Sacred Wisdom programs will be presented each day of the festival at 10 a.m. Subsequent Sacred Wisdom programs will be:

  • May 19 on the “Indwelling Spirit” with Pico Iyer, Ingred Mattson and Imam Zaid Shakir;
  • May 20 on “Ahimsa: Do No Harm” with The Rev. Michael McBride, Jim Wallis and Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, a regular commentator on NPR’s “All Thing Considered;”
  • May 21 on “Interfaith Reflections” with Vandana Shiva, the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell and the Rev. Alvin Herring.

The festival will also have a daily 2 p.m. program focused on “Pathways to Nonviolence” May 18, 19 and 20. The programs will deal with the media and public trust, Islamaphobia and the black lives matter movement.

On May 21 at 2 p.m., Karen Armstrong, the bestselling author who led the formation of the Charter for Compassion, will discuss compassion along with Amin Hashwani, the founder of the Charter for Compassion/Pakistan; Mayor Greg Fischer and Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna.

Evenings during the festival will be dedicated to programs on “Art and the Sacred.”

Presenters with local ties include Passionist Father Joe Mitchell, who founded the Passionist Earth & Spirit Center on Newburg Road in Louisville; Louisville native Molly Bingham, a documentary filmmaker and journalist; Teddy Abrams, music director of the Louisville Orchestra; and bell hooks, a writer and cultural critic originally from Hopkinsville, Ky.

For more information about the festival and a full schedule, visit Tickets may be purchased for single events. A weeklong pass is $247.50. To purchase tickets, visit the festival website or call the Actors Theatre box office at 584-1205.

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