Newsweek and the Washington Post Sponsor On-line Forum for Religious Discussion

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On Faith, a creation of Newsweek Magazine and the Washington Post, is generarating interfaith dialogue on several subjects as question are posed weekly. National leaders contribute articles concerning the subject matter and the general public is encouraged to submit their comments.

When I began talking about religion to people in Washington, normally a very cynical town, I was surprised at how interested they were and how much they wanted to talk about it

Newsweek Magazine and The Washington Post have collaborated to create a new online interfaith dialog "On Faith" featuring opinions from some of the nation's top evangelical leaders and other religious heads.

Launched in November 2006, "On Faith" features conversations on religion with more than 60 panelists, including Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; prominent pastors Rick Warren, Lyle Dukes and T.D Jakes; Madeleine Albright, the first woman Secretary of State; Evangelist Luis Palau and Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

The site (http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/) allows the panelists to post their articles while the general public interacts by posting their comments and opinions on the questions or articles presented. The panel also includes prominent Muslim, Hindu and Jewish scholars, as well as philosophers, business owners and other special guests such as former President Jimmy Carter.

The new dialog comes out of a continued fascination on religion that is most pervasive yet least understood, as the makers of "On Faith" stated.

"When I began talking about religion to people in Washington, normally a very cynical town, I was surprised at how interested they were and how much they wanted to talk about it," said Sally Quinn, a reporter with The Washington Post. "It was that continued fascination with the subject that led me and Jon to this conversation online."

Quinn and Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek Magazine, opened a new way to talk about religion -- shedding light rather than generating heat -- from a wide spectrum of viewpoints. Questions are posted at least once a week which then generate response from the panel of distinguished figures as well as readers.

"On Faith" (http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/) offers the public "constructive" and "respectful" conversation to understanding religion's influence around the world. Other noted panelists are Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 1986 Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, Harvard University Professor Diana Eck and Princeton University Professor Elaine Pagels.

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Caryle Murphy
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