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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of October 2 - 8, 2002


Have dinner with 
a side of religion

Express Staff Writer

If thereís a theme for present day issues, it seems to be religious bias and prejudices. With that in mind, Rabbi Martin Levy of the Wood River Jewish Community and the Rev. Brian Baker of St. Thomas Episcopal Church are initiating a Comparative Religion course, and dinner on Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. for the next several months.

Call it dinner and a religion.

Beginning with Judaism, they will spend three to four weeks on each of the major religions, with representatives from the various religions invited to speak.

"It has been the most requested class," Baker said. "But Iíve always been reluctant to speak about other religions." Enter Levy, who came to the valley this past spring as the first full time rabbi in the valley. Additionally, and advantageously, he taught comparative religion at the University of Houston last year.

They plan on being "flexible on the needs and questions," Baker said. And a suggested reading list will be part of the course.

Baker said it seemed a timely moment to finally offer this course. "Itís easy to lampoon every faith, its mistakes and the ways itís gone astray. But we want to highlight the wisdom that each tradition brings."

A caller to KECHís Talk of the Town radio show last Wednesday said "religion is the source of all evil in the world." Levy and Baker were guests on the show discussing their course.

Baker said this attitude seems all too prevalent. "Part of the reason to have this class is to help confront this last arena of prejudice."

And, he added, "Itís healthy to celebrate diversity."

For more information on the course call St. Thomas Church at 726-5349. The class is free and all but the very young are invited to attend.

The course begins tonight, Oct. 2.



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