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Summaries Cebu

Page history last edited by Ria Kattevilder 12 years, 6 months ago





5. Summaries, March 05 - March 18 2012


Week 9-10
Each class summarizes the answers received from the   Learning Circle partners. The summaries are posted in the Wiki.



EFS 5: St Theresa's College, Class 1, Cebu, Philippines



Although personal growth does not have to be spiritual. Personal growth can take a lot of form. Psychotherapy too is a way to do personal growth. In short: anything that helps you to function better in your day to day life – personally or professionally – is a form of personal growth and development. But as a student, I would like to know whether spiritual belief has something to do with one’s personal growth.I expected answers ranging from everyday activities anchored in one’s belief and respect of his/her God, living harmoniously with other people, seeing the importance of other people by showing respect, compassion, understanding and above all, radiating the love one receives from her Creator.


Of the three countries, they share something in common.  Their day to day lives are “guided” by their beliefs.  They believe in certain spiritual practices like meditation,prayer, concentration, cultivation of certain bhavas or states of mind. Their common basic principle is to do good to always and to others, as well. Both emphasize compassion and non violence towards all living beings. They believe in the existence of several hells and heavens or higher and lower worlds. And believe in detachment, renunciation of worldly life as a precondition to enter to spiritual life. Both consider desire as the chief cause of suffering.

These three religions have a lot of differences in terms of principles and practices.Hinduism is not founded by any particular prophet. Buddhism was founded by the Buddha.Buddhism does not believe in the existence of souls as well whom we generally call God. Hinduism believe in the existence of Atman , that is the individual soul and Brahman, the Supreme Creator. Jews are told to stay Kosher and follow the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses. Buddhists have to be good in this life because if they treat people with respect than they get to be reincarnated. Buddhism is also similar in having their Noble Eightfold Path, which is basically the Ten Commandments, but there are only eight of them. There are some differences between the two religions, Judaism doesn’t believe in being reincarnated but having life after death with God.


After having read all the sharing from India, Israel and Thailand, i have come to realize that people have different ways of connecting to who they believe their creator.  Although i share with them few similarities and differences, there is one principle that weaves all these beliefs, and for me, it is :DOING GOOD TO OTHERS BY RESPECTING OTHERS’ UNIQUENESS AND ALL WILL BE WELL. :)




EFS 6: St Theresa's College, Class 2, Cebu, Philippines



“If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse gift will find a fitting place.”

~ Margaret Mead ~


            It is in this perspective why knowing the interaction of cultural practices and religion interests me. As an Indian who grew up in a country wherein almost everything that I do and make is rooted from my faith, I also wonder what stories the other parts of the world have and perhaps weave it together and create a book of stories to be told to the rest of humanity.


            As an Indian History teacher I expected that though this Learning Circle happens to be from different parts of the world we have something in common – Religion portrays a significant role in the development of the cultural practices of all countries around the world.  Some stories may be similar to what we have here India...or perhaps it may be quite very different.


            Contemplating on the answers given by my GTP friends from Madagascar, Thailand and Israel I found out that contribution of ones religion to the welfare of the nation. The different countries too have different influences of their religion to their culture. It fascinates me how similar my country is with Madagascar wherein we honor our dead and look to hem for guidance. We as Hindu believed that everyday is sacred and holy and its quite interesting to know how the people in Israel devote a portion of their time to be with God. Religion is so influential on how one behaves or acts in the place where they live in.


            From this experience, it moves me knowing how religion and culture could blend in… no matter where you came from. I have learned something quite beautiful from the other countries and at the same time see the beauty of my own faith. No matter where we came from, no matter who we believe and what we believe….faith is what brings us all together.




EFS 8: St. Theresa's College, Class 4, Cebu, Philippines



In political affairs, religion and the state are, most of the times, independent towards each other. There are usually certain sets of limitations when it comes to the intervention of religion on matters of the state, and vice versa. This question seeks to know the extent or even the existence of an “influence” of religion to the societal concerns of some countries of the world, especially on the formulation of their laws.


From the answers gathered, religious leaders from India and Thailand play a significant role in setting and defining the laws and regulations of their respective countries. Their interventions or influences come in the form of advocacies and education. An evident similarity of these two countries is the use of peaceful and non-violent means to address issues of the state and impel political leaders to create laws for the benefit of their countrymen. Madagascar, on the other hand, shows no traces of religious influence to the matters of their government. Decision-making in the Malagasy society relies primarily to their people and political leaders.


I have learned that, truly, one country is different from the rests. Religion, for one, has its own unique role to play in their respective societies. But in the light of these all, I have learned that these two parties: the religion and the state should not go against each other. However, both must work hand in hand to harmonize, unite and bring about peace and development in their countries.






EFS 7 St Theresa's College, Class 3, Cebu, Philippines


The group brainstormed on the possible questions around the agreed theme which was on religion.

We asked about these questions because we thought that these questions are interesting and engaging. These will trigger more sub questions that will revolve around the theme on religion. We also wanted to know how the different participants of this learning circle from around the world will seemingly find their own “unity in diversity”.


Well, we expected to find multifarious answers. But in this process we shall also discover the similarities of the different religions all over the world of the learning circles. We also expected to find biases and prejudices but with the hope of reconciliatory statements, too!


Socio-cultural practices of the people from these countries are tied with the religion that they profess. Sometimes economic situations are also determined by the religious influences. Politics can also be influenced by the reigning religious leaders.


Asian religions are tied to nature. It is always with a note that this may somehow help in the preservation of Mother Earth. We can see this in their beliefs and practices, customs and traditions.


A glaring difference was how one country had suffered so much because of religious discrimination. It has been done over and above what is considered as a humane treatment. Although it happened in the past, but that was totally unacceptable. I am talking about the experience of the Jews in the hands of Adolf Hitler.


Another difference is how one country has not been influenced at all by its religion in terms of its political condition. The religious leaders are entirely “hands off” in its politics.


The different religions enjoy calling their supreme being in different names and their beliefs and practices manifest in the different socio-economic and political conditions.



The different religions in the world have certain historicities and I think that they will still continue to evolve given the many global phenomena happening in the world today! But inspite of these changes the people of the world will still be united in their diversity. And that would even mean that an “INVISIBLE HAND” is at work in all of humanity’s hands and hearts!


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