The Comparison Project will present the third event in its 2016–2017 series on death and dying. A community interfaith dialogue will feature representatives of three different refugee religions in Des Moines. The panel will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, at Dunn’s Chapel at Iles Funeral Homes, 2121 Grand Ave.
Norma Hirsch, assistant professor of osteopathic medicine at Des Moines University, will moderate. Panelists include Tanka Dhital, president of the Bhutanese Hindu Cultural and Educational Center, Nijaz Valjevcic, imam at Ezan Islamic and Educational Center, and Eugene Kiruhura, pastor of the Swahili-speaking congregation at the Urban Heights Covenant Church.
Among other questions, the panel seeks to explore beliefs about what happens after death and practices concerning what must be done before and after death. Representatives of three different local refugee communities will explore these beliefs and practices from the perspectives of their religious traditions: Bhutanese Hinduism, Bosnian Islam, and Congolese Christianity. The panelists will focus particularly on the tensions between traditional theologies and rituals of death, and the way in which death has increasingly become the domain of medicine and law.
The Comparison Project enacts global philosophy of religion in the local Des Moines community. It is supported by the Drake University Center for the Humanities, Humanities Iowa, the Medbury Fund, the Drake University Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship, the Des Moines Area Religious Council, Cultivating Compassion: The Dr. Richard Deming Foundation, the Slay Fund for Social Justice, and The Comparison Project’s special series sponsor for its programming on death and dying, Iles Funeral Homes.
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