TOU India: Interfaith Harmony and Dialogue Report, 2015-2016

We pleased to share a report from our colleagues at Temple of UnderstandingIndia detailing their programs for 2015-2016. Highlights of TOUIndia’s activities include:

  • Participation in the Parliament of the World’s Religions themed “Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity” in October 2015
  • International Interfaith Dialogue on 9th January 2016 themed “The Influence of Religion on the Place of Women in Society,” jointly organized by Der Missionszentrale der Franziskaner, Bonn, Germany; the Center for Peace and Spirituality International; Temple of Understanding—India; and Bahá’í Community of India
  • Interfaith Dialogue for World Peace jointly organized by Temple of Understanding India and Focolare Movement on 20th January 2016 in honour of the visit of Madam Emmaus, President and Mr. Jesus Moran, Co-President of Focolare Movement
  • Round table Conference themed “Religion & Sustainable Development—Fostering Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies” on 23rd November 2016 in collaboration with Woolf Institute, Cambridge and Georgetown University, Qatar. Some 27 outstanding scholars, including members of the Advisory Council of Temple of Understanding India Foundation, were invited by TOUIndia founder/President Hon’ble Dr. Karan Singh for deliberations surrounding the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the contributions of religious communities towards their fulfillment.

For a full description of TOUIndia’s 2015-2016 interfaith harmony and dialogue programs, please read the full report.

Interfaith Award to be presented to Shri Mumtaz Ali

Dr. Karan Singh (Temple of understanding Invitation card)

Interfaith Harmony for Peace & Nonviolence Conference 2015 Reports

Reports on the International Conference on Interfaith Harmony for Peace & Nonviolence; India International Centre, New Delhi, February 6-8, 2015

Report by A. K. Merchant

A two day conference of Temple of Understanding USA & India was held in the backdrop of the United Nations interfaith harmony week which is commemorated every year in the first week of February. Scholars and interfaith practitioners from the US and India representing different religious communities addressed the topics of contemporary relevance particularly focusing on Peace and Nonviolence in their respective countries and the world, largely from a Gandhian perspective.

The event began with a gala reception and screening of the documentaries featuring the activities of The Temple of Understanding worldwide centered the life-journey of Juliet Hollister, its founder, who established this global interfaith association in 1960 at the Cathedral of St. John in New York.  Hon’ble Dr. Karan Singh, MP and President of Temple of Understanding—India along with Dr. Anindita Balslev and Dr. A. K. Merchant, both members of the Executive Committee and the latter, its General Secretary, as well as Ms. Alison Van Dyk, Executive Director, Temple of Understanding—USA, warmly welcomed all the guests at the Reception with Dinner on 6th February evening. (more of report)

Keynote Addresses:


As I stand in front of you, in the midst of (thought) leaders of spirituality and faith of the highest calibre, there is a feeling of deep humility within me and also to feel nervous as how I will add value to this August gathering.

To begin with I most sincerely thank Respected Alyson and Respected Laxmiben who have responded to this little booklet, which was prepared with the help of Respected Munishri Kirtivijayji and Respected Vivekji. Also My Pranams to these Respected Saints. (more of report)

               Dr. ANINDITA N. BALSLEV-

               In a world which is so divided, so full of strife and conflict, where nations compete with each other in the                                mastery of the art of violence by innovating ever more advanced forms of lethal weaponry and that too with the                      help of cutting-edge scientific research, it seems to me to be nothing short of a miracle that the concept of                              Ahimsa, nevertheless, has been with us from time immemorial. (more of report)

Juliet Hollister Award presented to Ela Gandhi

The Juliet Hollister Award was presented to Ela Gandhi at the 55th Anniversary Dinner of the Temple of Understanding. This was part of the Interfaith Harmony for Peace & Nonviolence Conference in New Delhi on February 6-8, 2015.


Ela Gandhi

Ela Gandhi


Ela Gandhi receiving award

 Dr. Karan Singh and Alison Van Dyk presenting the 2015 Juliet Hollister Award to Ela Gandhi.