Mt. Carmel church adds more lectures to religion series

bcuddy@thetribunenews.comJanuary 4, 2013 

A local church’s series of lectures designed to increase understanding about the world’s major religions has drawn so much interest that the church has scheduled additional presentations, beginning this Sunday, Jan. 6.

Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church in San Luis Obispo is inviting the public to the six-week series that will explore Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism and Christianity.

The talks will go on as scheduled at 10 a.m. on Jan. 6, Jan. 13, Jan. 20, Jan. 27, Feb. 3, and Feb. 10.

However, Mt. Carmel will add a lecture at 12:30 p.m. each day as well.

The church is at 1701 Fredericks St., San Luis Obispo.

An earlier article about the series “generated so many phone calls that we have added a second occasion to hear the talk,” according to pastor Marj Funk-Pihl.

“We’re interested in having an interfaith dialogue, and understanding where other people are coming from and what they believe in,” she said.

Here are the scheduled lectures:

  • Jan. 6: Tony Criscuolo will explain the Vedic traditions that the Western world lumps together and calls Hinduism.
  • Jan. 13: Cal Poly religious studies professor Stephen Lloyd Moffett will dissect the Filioque Crisis, which split Christians into Catholic and Orthodox churches in 1054.
  • Jan. 20: Rabbi Linda Bertenthal will discuss the Torah and the written tradition in Judaism.
  • Jan. 27: Deborah Wilhelm from the Diocese of Monterey will talk about Mary’s place in Catholic theology and the role of women in the Catholic Church.
  • Feb. 3: Naiyerah Kolkailah, president of the Islamic Society of SLO County, will explain why the Quran contains more scripture about Jesus’ infancy and his mother, Mary, than the New Testament. She will also talk about how Mary serves as a role model for Muslim women.
  • Feb. 10: Sozan Peter Schellin-sensei will talk about Zen Buddhism.

For more information, contact Heather Ross at

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