(The Story of Hinduism Today Continued)
Harvard University is engaged in the production of a massive Pluralism Project by which high school children will be taught about other cultures and religions on CD-ROM. Prof. Diana Eck, head of the religion department at Harvard, invited HT to participate in the Hindu expressions. Elsewhere, the United Nations is developing the very strategic Earth Charter, a parallel to the Human Rights Declaration. This official UN declaration will define for the future how nations will look upon and treat the environment. Besides scientific input, religious contributions are being called for from five religions (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism), and the project is being guided by Steven Rockefeller, one of the famed family, who happens to teach comparative religions. The UN committee has approached HT to help help develop the Hindu representation for a panel of spiritual experts who can give voice to environmental ethics for the Earth Charter. There is more. In early 1997 the ex-editor of Christianity Today, Terry Muck, contacted Hinduism Today to have it collaborate on one chapter of his new Doubleday book, A Guide to Religions in America. And another scholar found their FAQs on the Web, and wrote to include it as one chapter in a book on the six major faiths in the US, and.....well, you get the idea.
Time Magazine Has a Question, Swami: HT has also been getting a lot of calls from religion editors in America, and was recently lauded as a solid source of Indian spirituality in a book published by John Dart of the Los Angeles Times called Deities and Deadlines. Time Magazine called once to verify a Hinduism-related story, an as yet unpublished feature on Deepak Chopra's phenomenal success. And the editors are frequently asked to give the Hindu view on news events that impact Hindus around the country. Indeed, Hinduism Today has gained a reputation for having credibility, access to authentic information and a commitment to objective, unexaggerated reporting.
Many religious journals walk a tightrope between propaganda and journalism, but HT has always chosen the harder path of honest reporting. Says Palaniswami: "Happily, we are not just another bhakti rag, as one reader observed. While remaining upbeat, we do try to tell readers even about the painful underbelly of one-sixth of the human race's religion, Hinduism, to make it real and not paint an unrealistic or Polyanna picture. It's important to express things in that way; otherwise people stop listening."
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