Conservationist Enlist Help of Faiths New York Times, Tuesday 23 May 1989 By Paul Lewis, S

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Conservationist Enlist Help of Faiths New York Times, Tuesday 23 May 1989 By Paul Lewis, Special to New York Times UNITED NATIONS, May 22- A plan to translate the world's most sacred texts into English in an effort to mobilize members of the major religions in the defense of nature was launched here today by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip , the president of the World Wide Fund for Nature, said the new translation into English, the leading international language, would make it easier for more people in the world to understand what the major faiths teach about conservation at a time when "the divine creation" faces a severe threat. The project will include the first English version of the Koran approved by the Muslim World League and the Imams of Mecca and the first English translation of the Greek Orthodox Bible, which will be prepared in cooperation with the Patriarch of Constantinople. Announcing the formation of the Sacred Literature Trust, a $7 million foundation that will oversee the project, Prince Philip said it would seek to produce "the very best translation of the most significant texts". Such translations would also contribute to "interfaith dialogue and,hopefully, to a better understanding between followers of different religions and beliefs," he added. The Trust, which has the support of Baha'i', Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish. Sikh and Taoist Organizations, grew out of a loose organization called the Network on Religion and Conservation, in which about 60,000 religious groups have already joined forces to promote environmental awareness........... .........The trust will work with the Edgar M. Bronfman Foundation Library of Jewish Classics and the Baha'i' International Community to create new English translations of major Jewish and Baha'i texts. In addition, it will publish new translation of the Tripitaka, which sets out the fundamental tenets of Buddhism, The Bhagavad-Gita and the principal Upanishads of Hinduism and the T'ai Shang of Lao-tse, one of the most important books of Taoism but little known in the West. The Trust is also planning to translate Australian Aboriginal religious stories and to record and translate for the first time the Shinto oral traditions of Japan.............. ..........Prince Philip said the project grew out of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the World Wide Fund for Nature held three years ago at Assisi, Italy, the home of Saint Francis "who will always be associated with love of nature". Prince Philip said the head of the Franciscan Order had invited a group of Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist representatives to discuss the attitude of their faiths' towards nature conservation. "There was general agreement that the current threats to divine creation were so serious that this issue was worthy of further study", the Prince said. Discussion led to the formation of the network, and representatives of Baha'i's and Sikhism later joined.

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