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Festival of Faiths hope for record attendance

November 10, 2002

LOUISVILLE, Ky.- With a heightened interest in spirituality among many, organizers of the Festival of Faiths are hoping for record attendance this year.

Sponsored by the Cathedral Heritage Foundation, the festival will began Sunday and continue through next Sunday at various locations, said Thom Whittinghill, a spokesman for the foundation.

Last year's festival drew more than 10,000 people, setting the attendance record.

Many of those participants were on spiritual quests sparked by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks _ and such searching is likely to continue, Whittinghill said.

"A lot of people were seeking answers and wanting to learn more about different religions" last year, he said. Today, "that's still carried over because Sept. 11 is still so fresh in our minds."

Whittinghill said a large crowd was expected to hear medical-spiritual guru Deepak Chopra, a physician and best-selling author who was hailed by Time magazine as one of the top figures of the 20th century.

"This is one of his rare appearances in this area," Whittinghill said.

Chopra was scheduled to speak Sunday at the Brown Theatre. He will make a shorter presentation at the Cathedral of the Assumption, focusing on this year's festival theme, "Faith & Sacred Texts."

Many other philosophies and religions will be represented, including the Baha'i, Mormon, Methodist, Islamic, Hindu and Jewish faiths. "We have a good cross section of faith traditions," Whittinghill said.

Harvard professor Ali Asani will make a presentation Tuesday at the cathedral on misconceptions about the teachings of the Quran, the sacred book of Muslims.

Information from: The Courier-Journal

©Copyright 2002, Evansville Courier & Press, The Henderson Gleaner

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