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Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi

Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi

A conversation about movements, dialogue and friendship


-- I feel there is a possibility of double belonging, Shanthi says, even in belief..

Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi is born and raised in a catholic family in Sri Lanka. We met in 2007 in Leicester when Shanthi was working at St Phillip’s Centre together with Andrew Wingate and Suleman Nagdi. (Both is presented in previous episodes of this podcast.)

Shanthi is teaching both in Colombo and occasionally in Lahore, researching in the field of history of religious thought and practice. His work includes studies of the Hizmet movement which is also present here in Drammen where Shanthi has visited several times. In this podcast we talk about the present situation in Sri Lanka and the general dialogical work of helping people of different faith and convictions meet and talk. In a multi faith context, the identities are mixed and many - also in individuals.

Shanthi is raised as a catholic christian, trained theologian, priest - and at the same time deeply immersed in buddhist thought.

The Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi episode is to be published Thursday 15. October. Please find other episodes of Ypsilonsamtaler here.

We menitoned two books during the talk. Here are details:

  • Faithing The Native Soil: Dilemmas and aspirations of post-colonial Buddhists and Christians in Sri Lanka. Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi. Colombo 2012 
  • Fethullah Gülen - A Life of Hizmet. Why a Muslim Scholar in Pennsylvania Matters to the World. Jon Pahl. Blue Dome Press, New Jersey 2019

The podcast is Norwegian language. Every now and then we will launch an episode in English. This is the third one. Please stay tuned and find new ones coming. A new episode of Ypsilonsamtaler is released every Thursday morning. You will find Ypsilonsamtaler in most podcast apps.

Ypsilonsamtaler (Ypsilon Conversations) is a podcast hosted by Ivar Flaten, Director of the Church Dialogue Centre of Drammen (Kirkelig Dialogsenter Drammen.) The centre is working with The Church of Norway, the Diocese of Tunsberg. We do a lot of regional and national projects where the idea is to involve in community coesion work, cultural events and activities. The Ypsilonsamtaler podcast is named after the iconic pedestrian bridge Ypsilon built in 2008. Drammen is a river town and a we like to look upon ourselves as bridge builders in several aspect of the word. The Ypsilon bridge is connected to a sound sculpture, The River Harp.

Serving as Tunsberg Diocese Dialogue Officer and Director of the Kirkelig Dialogsenter Drammen, I invite people to conversations where cross cultural encounters, immigrant experiences, daily life and lesson learned form the exchange. The invetees has made - and are making the community a better place through their work, volonteering and service in so many ways. 

Drammen Municipality has100.000 inhabitants after merging with two neighbouring municipalities January 2020. The citizens originate from more than 150 different nations. Here lives peoploe with a lot of different life stories, cultural references and relegious traditions. During 15 years as a minister Revd Ivar Flaten has met with many both as a minister and a dialogue partner. 

Pubilshed by: Kirkelig Dialogsenter Drammen
Program host: Ivar Flaten
Music: Ole Jørn Myklebust
Sound design intro: Are Tågvold Flaten
Photo in logo by: Per Ulleland


Tekst: Ivar Flaten
Publisert 13.10.2020
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