Conservationist Enlist Help of Faiths New York Times, Tuesday 23 May 1989 By Paul Lewis, S
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
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
Discussion led to the formation of the network, and representatives of
Baha'i's and Sikhism later joined.
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