Spiritual Leaders Speak out on the Religion of the Future - A Dialogue with Andrew Cohen and Rev. Michael Beckwith

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Spiritual leaders Andrew Cohen, founder of What Is Enlightenment? magazine and the teachings of Evolutionary Enlightenment, and Reverend Michael Beckwith, founder of Agape Spiritual Center in LA explore new innovations in spiritual thinking in Lenox MA.

Can the world’s religious traditions evolve enough to keep pace with today’s accelerating rate of change? Or do we need to create entirely new religions that can address the challenges and potentials of our modern times?

Wednesday, April 27, 7:30pm

The Foxhollow Forum

Lenox, MA

Dialogue followed by reception

Lenox, Mass., April 4, 2005 – Andrew Cohen, editor-in-chief of Lenox-based What Is Enlightenment? magazine, and Reverend Michael Beckwith, founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles, will explore “religion of the future” in their first public dialogue together. The event is Wednesday, April 27 at 7:30pm at the Foxhollow Forum, 4 Foxhollow Dr., Lenox, MA, and is presented by the Voices from the Edge speakers series, which is sponsored by What Is Enlightenment? magazine. Tickets are available online at mktix.com (recommended) and at the door: $12. For more information log on to wie.org/voices or call 800.376.3210.

Andrew Cohen and Rev. Michael Beckwith, two prominent spiritual leaders from very different backgrounds, will discuss questions critical to the future of religion. Do we need new religions to address the complexity of our lives? What will religion of the future look like?

Andrew Cohen and Reverend Michael Beckwith first met last summer at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Barcelona. Their dialogue on the future of religion began then, and they are continuing that dialogue Wednesday, April 27, in Lenox, Massachusetts, as part of the Voices from the Edge speakers series.

Cohen is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher, regarded as a defining voice in the emerging field of evolutionary spirituality. He has developed a comprehensive model for human transformation called “Evolutionary Enlightenment,” which brings together the enlightenment wisdom of the East with a contemporary Western scientific knowledge of human evolution.

“Andrew Cohen has arrived at an insight that is crucial for our historical situation,” Brian Swimme, cosmologist and author of The Universe Story, comments. “Rarely have I encountered such simple, searing wisdom connecting religious ideas about enlightenment with the scientific understanding of an evolutionary cosmos.”

Cohen has always sought out luminaries from various fields of expertise to engage in inquiry about the deep questions of human life. In 1991, he created What Is Enlightenment? magazine to bring this inquiry to a broader public forum. Since then, What Is Enlightenment? has become a leading platform for scholars, teachers, cultural theorists, scientists, corporate visionaries, and activists to engage in dialogue, offering new perspectives on and solutions to contemporary global issues.

Cohen’s desire to bring the work of these and other visionaries into a live forum where anyone could participate was the impetus for creating the Voices from the Edge speakers series in 2004. “Through Voices from the Edge, we want to help create the future by trying to expand and deepen the context in which the leading edges of thinking in many different arenas are taking place,” Cohen says. “It is our firm conviction that through the practice of sincere inquiry, of honest dialogue together, we can discover new perspectives that will enable all of us to make much greater sense of our shared human experience at this pivotal time in our development.”

Voices has presented such noted speakers as Nobel Prize nominee Dr. Munawar Anees, president of the State of the World Forum Jim Garrison, evolutionary biologist and author Elisabeth Sahtouris, and scientist and author Howard Bloom, and has hosted events in New York, Boston, Lenox, London, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam. This dialogue with Rev. Beckwith will be Cohen’s first local appearance as a Voices from the Edge speaker since he founded the series.

Rev. Beckwith is the senior minister of the Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles, one of the nation’s largest multicultural spiritual communities. He is also codirector of “A Season for Nonviolence,” an international movement to actualize world peace, and founding member of the Association for Global New Thought, an organization dedicated to planetary transformation. Beckwith is one of the metaphysical movement’s most influential leaders. His goal is to build community, both locally and globally, and to create a broad ethical foundation for spiritual and social development.

“If we are willing to let go of our biases and our prejudices and appreciate someone else’s stance, and then begin to see that, in essence, religions are the same, there will be a revolution in the evolution of religion,” Beckwith said in his recent interview in What Is Enlightenment? magazine. “If you start to break down the shell of religion, then this essence will be more available to everyone.”

In this Voices evening, Cohen and Beckwith, two spiritual pioneers, will explore the intersection of God and culture, and the urgent need for a spiritual philosophical context relevant to our postmodern culture. For more information visit the Voices from the Edge website at wie.org/voices or call 800.376.3210. For more information about Andrew Cohen, visit andrewcohen.org. For more information about Michael Beckwith, visit agapelive.org.

Andrew Cohen and Rev. Michael Beckwith are available for interviews through Amy Edelstein, 413.637.6150.

What Is Enlightenment? magazine was founded by Andrew Cohen in 1991. It is published quarterly by What Is Enlightenment? Press, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to a revolution in human consciousness and culture. WIE also sponsors the Voices from the Edge speakers series, which offers an annual calendar of lectures and seminars featuring innovative thinkers and prominent leaders in various fields of expertise. WIE has an international readership of 75,000 and growing. wie.org

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  • submitted by Amy Edelstein for What Is Enlightenment? magazine and Voices from the Edge

PO Box 2360, Lenox, MA 01240


“dedicated to a revolution of human consciousness and culture”


[digital images available upon request]

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