The Asian & Abrahamic Religions
A Divine Encounter in America
To many Americans the Asian religions remain a mystery. Yet the presence of the Asian religions has been growing on American soil almost from the country’s beginning. Over time Asian religious practices began to influence and transform everyday life for ordinary Americans who discovered Yoga, meditation and the martial arts and healing. “The Asian and Abrahamic Religions: A Divine Encounter in America” explores the beliefs, practices and rituals of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism. Examining the similarities and differences with the Abrahamic religions, how they perceive each other, confront prejudice and stereotypes and how they can understand and respect one another.
The primary aim of the documentary is to demystify the Asian religions; the misconceptions and stereotypes that many Americans have about them, and to show the deep historical roots of the Asian religions in America. The documentary will help create a broader acceptance of religious pluralism in the United States and the world, and serve as a catalyst for interfaith dialogue, understanding and respect. The documentary is also meant to help audiences find greater understanding of these religions as ways to refine and deepen their faith in their own religions; and clarify how they define their own identity.
For decades in America formal interfaith conversations have typically involved Christians and Jews, or Christians, Jews and Muslims. Increasingly, however, adherents of these traditional “Abrahamic faiths” are becoming aware of and thoughtfully beginning to engage devout representatives of various Asian religions. In neighborhoods, in classrooms, in professional settings and in the public square, Americans are discovering the need to understand the religious values and customs of, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists and others. Many peoples of the western world are hard pressed to begin to understand and appreciate these seemingly strange and unfamiliar eastern religions whose presence is well established, and growing on American soil. The program explores how these religions are similar to and yet different from Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
The documentary was the Official selection Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival (2010), dedicated to the exploration of the human spirit through the medium of film and discourse.