Building Bridges Seminar 2018


THE BUILDING BRIDGES SEMINAR – “Religion, Sanctity of Life and Human Dignity”

Saturday, 24 March 2018

8.30am - 12.00pm

St Joseph's Institution

The Harmony Centre piloted the “Building Bridges Programme” in 2012 to strengthen social cohesion and inter-community bonding by deepening interfaith understanding and dialogue. The programme was conceived based on the feedback from friends and partners of Harmony Centre who are keen to enhance their understanding of the different faiths beyond the basic tenets and practices of each faith.

In essence, the programme entails the coming together of representatives of two or more faith groups to study and share their unique perspectives and views on pertinent contemporary issues confronting religious communities based on their respective holy scriptures, ethical, historical and religious traditions that govern their religious life.

The inaugural Building Bridges Programme was organised in 2012/2013. The Harmony Centre (Muis) collaborated with the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) in this programme. The aim of the programme is to deepen interfaith dialogue and understanding in order to further strengthen the bonds of relationship between the faith communities.

During the pilot phase, the programme comprises a series of three engagement sessions over a period of time which then culminated with a public seminar in 2013. The theme for this inaugural Building Bridges Programme was “Religious Tradition and Authority in a Post-Modern World”. This theme was chosen for its relevance and importance to all faith communities.

For the second the Building Bridges Programme (2014/2015), Harmony Centre collaborated with the Singapore Buddhist Federation. The theme jointly decided by the two participating faith groups was “Human Suffering, Spiritual Renewal, Common Action”. The format of the programme remains the same. The three engagement sessions had taken place in 2014. Representatives of all faith communities in Singapore were also invited to participate in the discussion.

Following a review in 2016, the Building Bridges Programme reformulated the engagement series and adopted the Scriptural Reasoning method. This method was modelled after the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme. For the third Building Bridges Programme (2017/2018) collaborates with the Archdiocesan Catholic Council for Inter-religious Dialogue (ACCIRD). A total of 12 young individuals (6 Muslims and 6 Catholics) were selected to participate in a monthly Scriptural Reasoning sessions over a period of 6 months. The Building Bridges Seminar in 2018 is the concluding event for these participants to share their experiences and learning points to a larger audience, as well as to incorporate short presentations by theologians from the Catholic and Muslim sides reflecting on the theme of “Religion, Sanctity of Life and Human Dignity”.


8.30 am Registration

9.30 am Opening Speech by Guest of Honour

9.45 am Presentation on “Religion, Sanctity of Life and Human Dignity – A Catholic Perspective” by Friar David Garcia, OP, Dominican Priest, Order of Preachers

10.00 am Presentation on “Religion, Sanctity of Life and Human Dignity – A Muslim Perspective” by Ustaz Mahmoud Mathlub Sidek, Assistant Director, Asatizah Recognition Scheme Office, Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis)

10.15 am Question-and-Answer with Presenters

10.45 am Short Video on Scriptural Reasoning Engagements

10.50 am Sharing on SR Experience by Catholic Discussant, Ms Desiree Hwang Hsiao Pei, ACCIRD

11.00 am Sharing on SR Experience by Muslim Discussant, Ustaz Muhammad Ashraf bin Anwar, Harmony Centre

11.10 am Question-and-Answer with Presenters and Discussants

11.55 am Launch of Second Building Bridges Publication

12.00 am Closing Remarks

  • The event description was updated. Diff#323037 2018-03-12 05:25:54
Sat Mar 24, 2018
8:30 AM - 12:00 PM SGT
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St. Joseph's Institution (Level 3 Auditorium)
General Admission FULL
Venue Address
38 Malcolm Rd, Singapore 308274 Singapore
Harmony Centre

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