Scriptural Reasoning is a practice of inter-faith reading where people of all faiths gather and reflect on short passages from their scriptures together. It is a worldwide movement www.scripturalreasoning.org recently started in Oxford. There is sometimes overlap between texts where different faiths share their Scriptures. We meet in the Harold Wilson Room on Mondays 1.00-2.00pm.
We spend time with texts from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions, and discuss ancient, medieval, and modern interpretations of Scripture, modern day practices which reflect these texts, and what they mean personally for individuals and faith communities. Rabbi Michael Rosenfeld-Schueler helps lead it, and a free, simple kosher lunch is provided.
9 October Salvation
16 October Attitudes towards death and dying
23 October Mourning
30 October Mind
6 November Body
13 November Soul
20 November Warfare and Violence
27 November The role of the Prophets
Feasts for Faiths and Cultures
Each term, to complement our International Dinners in Hall, we will take account of a few religious or cultural festivals in our dining. These events may either be reflected in a single item of food, or an entire menu. Information will be available on these foods for all those who dine in Hall on the occasion. It’s a chance to learn about a range of religious and cultural festivals and celebrate our diversity. Sign-up happens in the usual way, and the food will be at the same costs as normal. Come, learn, and eat!
Thursday 5 October - Sukkot (Freshers’ Lunch) in Harold Wilson Room
This is the Jewish Festival of Booths, which lasts for a week from the evening of 4 October this year. A booth, or sukkah, is a tent, recalling G-d’s sheltering of the Jewish people in the Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land.We may not have a marquee on the quad to help us celebrate this, but we do have a kosher lunch available in the Harold Wilson Room.
Wednesday 18 October - Divali (Lunch and Dinner) in Hall
This Hindu, Jain and Sikh Festival of Lights is in honour of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. It also commemorates the Divali legend of the return of Rama and Sita to Rama’s kingdom after being in exile for fourteen years. There will be a theme of sweetness and light in today’s dining in Hall.
Monday 4 November - Guru Nanak’s Birthday (Lunch) in Hall
Sikhs today celebrate the birthday of their first Guru in 1469 CE. Sikh festivities have evolved around the lives of the ten Sikh gurus who shaped Sikh beliefs.
Thursday 24 November - Thanksgiving (Dinner) in Hall
Traditionally a Harvest Festival, this is a national celebration in Canada and the United States of America. It is an important cultural festival for those associated with North America.
Wednesday and Thursday 29 and 30 November - Christmas Dinners in Hall
Christmas is widely celebrated as the Christian festival remembering the birth of Jesus, or the Incarnation of the Son of God. Carols will be sung in Hall during dinner on Thursday.
Friday 1 December - Prophet Muhammed’s Birthday (Lunch) in Hall
Many Muslims across the world celebrate Mawlid, or the birthday of the founding prophet of Islam, in about 570 CE. There is some debate as to when precisely to celebrate it, so in some cultures a seven-day period is set aside for this purpose.
Small items and books for a range of religious rites are available in the cupboard in the Nurse’s waiting room. Do borrow them for your own personal prayer and meditation whether in the Chapel or elsewhere, but please return them after use. If you have suggestions for inclusion in the collection please ask the Chaplain. The Chaplain will also be very pleased to help any student of any faith find a place to worship or connect with a faith community in Oxford.
The Chaplain welcomes all suggestions of faith or arts events that you’d like to see in Chapel. Please contact her with your ideas.