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Panel of religious leaders to discuss happiness on March 24

How to be happy: it's the subject of countless books, talk shows and magazine articles, and it has been the focus at Pellissippi State throughout this academic year.

Students have read this year's Common Book, "The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places on Earth," and the College has hosted numerous guest speakers addressing the concept of happiness. Now a panel of local religious leaders takes up the subject.

The community is invited to join students, faculty and staff for the discussion, 12:30-1:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, in the Goins Building Auditorium.

Panelists include Amine Ben Ayara, a Muslim and full-time Pellissippi State student; Rabbi Beth Schwartz with Temple Beth El; Jim Foster with the Peacebuilding Institute; Sister Margaret Turk with Mercy Medical Center; the Rev. Mitra Jafarzadeh, minister at West Side Unitarian Universalist Church; and Catholic Permanent Deacon Patrick Murphy-Racey.

How is faith tied to happiness?

According to Rev. Jafarzadeh, "When we are confident in our relationship with what is of ultimate importance to us, we are happier people. Personally, I think God is really big. If we are to begin to understand the size of God and God's goodness, we need a vibrant, dancing kaleidoscope of faiths."

Rabbi Schwartz turns to Hebrew tradition to answer the question. She paraphrases the scholar Rabbi Hillel, who lived in Jerusalem during the time of King Herod and Roman Emperor Augustus: "Behold, how good it is, how pleasant, when people live together in peace."

In addition to happiness, the panel will address religious tolerance. The speakers also will take questions from the audience.

For more information about this event, contact the English Department at 694-6708.

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"Inside Pellissippi" is a bi-monthly electronic publication produced by the Marketing and Communications Office for the faculty and staff of

Pellissippi State Community College
10915 Hardin Valley Road
P.O. Box 22990
Knoxville, Tennessee 37933-0990

All suggestions and comments should be sent to Julia Wood (jwood@pstcc.edu).
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