Religious Diversity News

Showing all news articles in metro area Kansas City.

Play Highlights the Necessity of Religious Pluralism

Source: Rediff

On November 29, 2005 Rediff reported, “Whenever professor Diana Eck hears of a play such as ‘The Hindu and the Cowboy.. and Other Kansas City Stories’ staged recently in Kansas City, she feels more than happy.
The sympathetic play about divergent cultures and faiths was done in an ecumenical spirit, she says.

Playwright Donna Ziegenhorn, who interviewed scores of Kansas City residents, put their stories together to reflect on division and the lesson of tolerance.

‘We are divided as people by lines… culture, religion, race, gender, to some extent,’ she said. ‘The underlying question running throughout the play is are these lines good or are they bad?’

These are very questions that the Pluralism Project that Diana Eck started at Harvard University has been asking since 1991. Of course, like Ziegenhorn, Eck and others at Pluralism Project believe in multi-ethnic and multi-religious America… [Pluralism Project] affiliates continually study the changing religious landscape in America. [Stuart Chandler, one affiliate] has put together an exhibit, ‘Eastern Religions Come to Western Pennsylvania.’

This exhibit… is expected to travel to other museums after being shown in the University Museum of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. It focuses on the Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, and Sikh traditions, especially their practice in the Pittsburgh region.”

“The Hindu and the Cowboy” Play Pleases Mixed Crowd in Kansas City Congregation

Source: The Examiner

On November 7, 2005 The Examiner reported, “The impact of religion on everyday life was the theme of a play highlighting the second day of the Community of Christ’s 2005 Peace Colloquy.

A mixed crowd gathered Saturday in the church’s Temple sanctuary to watch ‘The Hindu and the Cowboy and Other Kansas City Stories,’ a play detailing how religion intertwines with life events and defines communication with others. Through a series of first-person accounts based on true stories, the audience learned how characters of various religious backgrounds were molded by their beliefs.

The 2005 Peace Colloquy was a weekend-long event focused on fostering peace among religions. The colloquy featured various speakers and workshops dedicated to increasing dialogue and knowledge of different faiths.

The play demonstrated the need for growth everywhere, said audience member Mark Jane Hart. ‘The fear of anything different separates us, but so much about us is the same,’ Hart said. ‘We need to be more open and understanding.'”

“Hindu and the Cowboy” Showcases Real Faith Stories

Source: The Johnson County Sun

On October 20, 2005 The Johnson County Sun reported, “‘The Hindu and the Cowboy … and Other Kansas City Stories’ offers a look at different cultures and the role of faith in people’s lives. The play gives insight into how people from other countries, India, Egypt and Tibet for instance, cope with living in a country so vastly different from their own and how faith helps them do that. The stories are not about dogma and religious institutions but about faith, said the play’s author, Donna Ziegenhorn. It is also about division and the lesson of tolerance. ‘We are divided as people by lines… culture, religion, race, gender, to some extent. The underlying question running throughout the play is are these lines good or are they bad?… There are lines which give shape and form to our identities as people. And people are not going to erase those lines but they need to learn how to meet, be able to communicate and have heart for people in all the lines,’ Ziegenhorn said… ‘The Hindu’ was conceived as a project to unveil the cultural and religious diversity in Kansas City… Eighty [people from Kansas City] were interviewed and Ziegenhorn drafted a play from the mass of material collected.”

“The Hindu and the Cowboy” Depicts Stories of Kansas City’s Religiously Diverse Citizens

Source: Sun-News of the Northland

On September 8, 2005 Sun-News of the Northland reported, “Two Northlanders are part of a multi-cultural cast for KC Harmony’s production, ‘The Hindu and the Cowboy,’ which has its first fall performance Sept. 11 at Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church… ‘The Hindu and the Cowboy’ is based on real stories collected from Kansas citizens of diverse cultural and faith traditions. Playwright Donna W. Ziegenhorn based the play on more than 80 people across the metropolitan area. The title story looks at a cowboy and a Hindu who share suspicions about each other when land in Shawnee, Kan., becomes the site for a Hindu temple. Other stories include a Muslim’s surprise encounter with New York firefighters following 9-11; a Tibetan monk who flees his country over the Himalayas; a survivor of Auschwitz; and a Shawnee American Indian.”

New Kansas City Play Promotes Awareness of and Respect for Religious Differences

Source: The Kansas City Star|Pluralism|N

On April 6, 2004 The Kansas City Star reported, “Increasing respect for religious differences is the goal behind a powerful new play titled ‘The Hindu and the Cowboy … and Other Kansas City Stories’…Donna Ziegenhorn designed the project and wrote ‘The Hindu and the Cowboy.’ ‘This idea has been growing in my mind for a number of years,’ Ziegenhorn said. ‘It really comes out of my belief in the power of the lived experience. It’s the power of story in dramatic form.’ The project is the inspiration of the Mosiac Life Stories Task Force, a volunteer effort started in 2002 to promote interfaith diversity. To create her work, Ziegenhorn relied on seven researchers who collected and transcribed 80 interviews based primarily on one-on-one interviews with people throughout the area. Individuals interviewed were American Indian, Baha’i, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Pagan, Sikh, Dharma, Sufi, Unitarian, Universalist, Zoroastrian and Jain. The title of the play derives from one of its stories. When the Hindus were building their temple in the 1980s in Shawnee, the temple’s president and his wife went to the site and saw what appeared to be a cowboy with a gun sitting on a horse. Researchers interviewed the cowboy, who explained that he was born in Shawnee and was dedicated to protecting the land around the temple. ‘The cowboy is looking out, making sure nobody takes advantage of the Hindus or bring harm to the temple,’ Ziegenhorn said. ‘The Hindus are wondering, “Who is this guy?”‘”