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The Idea – an artistic search for the musical and ethical commonalities in world religions.


Changing Place, Changing Time, Changing Thoughts, Changing Future, 2003, von Maurizio Nannucci. Peggy Guggenheim Collection/Venedig. Photo © DS

Whoever dares to tune in to the news these days is informed with every new terror attack about what differentiates „us“ from „the others“. They hear right-wing politicians declare that Islam and Muslims are not wanted in Europe, America, are attacked even in otherwise peaceful New Zealand. They hear that the number of migrants coming to Europe will lead to a hyperxenesis of the western cultures by eastern cultures. They hear that the different spiritual and religious traditions cannot live side by side.

In these situations we most easily forget the ethical similarities the different traditions and philosophies are based on. Values like love, altruism, or respect for creation. Values that are normally seen as the basis of humanity and that include everyone, disregarding their beliefs. These values normally ensure a positive environment. However, these values are negated ever so often: because it seems easier to define oneself by differentiation, not by association. This is The same Word’s starting point.

As an international, intercultural and interreligious project, The same Word puts the focus on the musical and ethical commonalities of the world religions Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam – which in the entirety of their main areas of influence span the globe. In a large-scale collaboration, artists from around the world with links to these spiritual and cultural traditions, create a work of art. This piece enables an open-minded dialogue between groups which otherwise hardly interact.  Thus the project aims at nothing less than furthering the understanding among followers of different spiritual and cultural traditions through the arts – which has been proven to be one of the most successful ways to promote understanding between groups of different backgrounds. Or in other words:

Nothing is as beneficial to society as music. If everybody studied music, would that not be the best way to create world peace? 

(attributed to Molière)