Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Global Conference on World's Religions - Promoting dialogue to build a peaceful world after 9/11

MONTREAL, September 7, 2011 /Canada NewsWire Telbec/ - Today is the opening of the Second Global Conference on World's Religions after 9/11, where His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, Robert Thurman, Tariq Ramadan, Gregory Baum and Steven T. Katz will meet. Organized by McGill University in cooperation with the Université de Montréal, this Conference has invited representatives of many of the world's best known religions as well as the general public to discuss the involvement of religion in the building of peace.

"It has been said that there can be no peace among nations without peace among religions. Moreover, the profile of religion in the public square has been rising all over the world and predictions of its demise have turned out to be grossly exaggerated. Thus, the real question is not whether religions should exist or not, but rather, how can they contribute to peace in the world. If they are part of the problem, then they can also become part of the solution," says Professor Arvind Sharma, Birks Professor of Comparative Religion in the Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University, and convenor of the Conference.

The Conference which will be taking place at the Montréal Palais des congrès will start at 9:00 am on Wednesday with a word of welcome from Professor Arvind Sharma, at 10:00 am His Holiness the Dalai Lama will give an hour and a half elocution entitled "Peace through Ethics" which will be introduced by Professor Robert A. Thurman, first American to be ordained monk in conformity with the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

At 1:00 pm the world renowned author and physician Deepak Chopra will give a one hour presentation on "Peace through Spirituality". At 2:00 pm a panel discussion will be moderated by Professor Patricia G. Kirkpatrick from McGill University. This panel will discuss the major factors relating to religion and peace. Panelists include: Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University; Robert A. Thurman, Professor in Indo-Tibetan Studies, Columbia University; Steven T. Katz, Director of the Elie Wiesel Centre for Judaic Studies and Professor of Religion at Boston University; and Gregory Baum, Professor at the Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University.

At the end of the day, the participants will debate three resolutions linked with religious teachings, the respect of religious texts and an eventual Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World's Religions. The objective of this Declaration is to improve the actual Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to extend its influence.

For more information, visit the Conference web site,