World's Religions After September 11


Jul 27, MONTREAL, CANADA (SUN) — World's Religions After September 11 Conference, September 2006.

At a time when serious international conflicts are arising out of religious differences, the global congress World's Religions after September 11 aims to place intercultural conflicts in perspective and allow for a dialogue between the representatives of the world's different faiths. Rather than concentrate on the differences between traditions, why not emphasize our common desires for harmony and peace?

From September 11 to 15, 2006, the Palais des congres de Montreal will host an international gathering to reflection on the role of religion in the 21st century. In an atmosphere of respect and mutual understanding, attendees will meet and share ideas with their spiritual peers from religions and traditions from around the world.

"There is no better time than now to remind the world that if religion is part of the problem," says Dr. Arvind Sharma, President of the congress and Birks Professor of Comparative Religions at McGill University, "it is also part of the solution."

A special feature of this event will be the discussion over the proposed Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World's Religions. Members of religious communities, academics as well as all people interested in the study of religion are invited to participate in this historic conversation.

Message from the President of the Congress

Most people remember where they were and what they were doing when they first heard the news of the aerial assault on the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001.

The ground may not have shifted under our feet at the moment but the very concept of religion underwent a paradigm shift for many of us. Instead of standing for virtue and piety, and peace and harmony, the word religion was launched on a semantic trajectory which would make it a byword for evil, aggression and terror.

But is there not more to religion than this? We invite you to explore the more positive possibilities of the religious dimension of life by attending a global congress on World's Religions after September 11, which will meet in Montreal from September 11-15, 2006. Its aim is to bring together the various religions of the world in an ecumenical spirit to address the many issues facing the world today, in the hope that this will help all of us become better human beings.

In friendship

Arvind Sharma
Birks Professor of Comparative Religion
Faculty of Religious Studies
McGill University

Special Feature of the Congress

Religious extremism is on the rise around the world. It is not often realized that secular extremism in the form of fascism, communism and totalitarianism was also on the rise at the beginning of the last century but nothing was done to stop it until after two World Wars had been fought. Finally, on December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights as an antidote to such extremism.

Should we not learn from history and try to evolve a Universal Declaration of Human Rights by The World's Religions now before religious extremism gets out of hand? Come and help us with this project, whose supporters include four Nobel Laureates for Peace: His Holiness, The Dalai Lama; Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Bishop Belo of Timor Leste; Shirin Ebadi as well as a number of eminent scholars and public figures. JOIN THEM! For more information and to register, please visit the event website.


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