In a press conference in Jerusalem as part of an interfaith conference, His Holiness the Dalia Lama was asked why he thought there were so many religions in the world. With a slight smile he quickly replied, as if stating the unutterably obvious, “Well that is because there are so many different kinds of people in the world.”
A recent blog post by National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry, A Matter of Faith, shows a portfolio of wonderful images from around the world and reminds me of my own longstanding interest in photographing varieties of religious experience.
Here’s a selection from around the world. If you like them, please comment, and if you have your own selections of images please post them on your blog and email me or add a comment here and I’ll collect them for a follow-on post.
Buddhist monk, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Maundy Thursday candles, Metropolitan Cathedral, Athens, Greece
TIbetan Buddhist monk circumambulating temple, Labrang Monastery, Tibet (traditional)
Woman meditating atop Mayan Temple, Coba, Yucatan, Mexico
Shinto paper prayers, Asakusa Kannon Temple, Tokyo, Japan
Imam studying Koran, Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Man praying in synagogue in Tomb of Abraham, Hebron, West Bank, Palestine
Metropol Daniel, Church of Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel
Bishop’s hands blessing holy communion bread, St Gregory of Nyssen Church, San Francisco
Singer, Mahsuris Tomb, Malaysia, Langkawi
The Dalai Lama at Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel