The fourth Israeli Presidential Conference Facing Tomorrow 2012, under the auspices of the President Shimon Peres, took place in Jerusalem, June 19-21, 2012
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Tomorrow's Religion: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?



Date: Thursday, June 21, 14:00 - 15:30
Location: Oren 2 Hall

In light of the trends of modernization and secularization, there are those who have already written off religion as a passing phenomenon. Many assumed that science would step in to provide the answers to the great existential questions, as a result of rational discourse supplanting the discourse based on superstition. However, the writing of religion's eulogy has proven to be premature, as it remains a powerful force that influences the way people (and even scientists) understand themselves and the world around them. What is the role of religion in shaping tomorrow? How will it influence the development of human society? Can religion, which is part of the current problems, become part of tomorrow's solutions?

 

Moderator: 

 

Professor Guy Stroumsa, Israel: Professor of the Study of the Abrahamic Religions, Fellow, Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford; Martin Buber Professor of Comparative Religion, Emeritus, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Doctor Honoris Causa, Zurich University; Member, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Author: The End of Sacrifice: Religious Transformations of Late Antiquity (2009); A New Science: The Discovery of Religion in the Age of Reason (2010). Recipient: Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, Chevalier dansl’Ordre du Mérite.

 

Participants:

 

Mr. Jonathan Benthall, UK: Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Anthropology, University College London; Associate Fellow, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, University of Manchester; Founding Editor, Anthropology Today; former Director, Royal Anthropological Institute; former Chairman, International Non-Governmental Organization Training and Research Centre, Oxford. Recipient: Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres; Anthropology in Media Award, American Anthropological Association; Patron's Medal, Royal Anthropological Institute. Author: Returning to Religion: Why a Secular Age is Haunted by Faith (2008), Disasters, Relief and the Media (1993). Co-Author: The Charitable Crescent: Politics of Aid in the Muslim World (with J. Bellion-Jourdan, 2003).


Rabbi Michael Melchior, Israel: former Minister for Social Affairs and World Jewry; former Deputy Minister of Education and Culture, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; former Member of Knesset (Meimad Party); Founding Chairperson, Birthright Israel; former International Director, The Eli Wiesel Foundation For Humanity; Chief Rabbi of Norway; former Member, The International Presidium For Soviet Jewry. Recipient: Knight of Quality Governance Award;  Green Globe Award, Israel’s National Coalition Of Environmental NGO’s; The Norwegian Award For Tolerance & Bridge Building in the Noble Institute (1988), The Church Of England’s Coventry International Prize For Peace & Reconciliation (2002), The Liebhaber Prize For The Promotion Of Religious Tolerance And Cultural Pluralism (2007).

 

Professor Mona Siddiqui, UK: Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies, University of Edinburgh; Member, Commission on Scottish Devotion; Fellow, Royal Society of Edinburgh, Royal Society of Arts; Chair, BBC's Scottish Religious Advisory Committee. Author: How to Read the Qur'an (2007), Islam (four volume edited collection: 2010), Themes in Classical Islamic Law and Theology (2012). Recipient: Three honorary doctorates, Officer of the Order of the British Empire (2011).


Professor Mark Silk, USA: Director, Program on Public Values, Professor of Religion in Public Life, Founding Director, Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, Trinity College; Founding Editor, Religion in the News. Co-Author: One Nation Divisible: How Regional Religious Differences Shape American Politics (with Andrew Walsh, 2008); “Spiritual Politics”, blog on religion and American political culture.

 

The panel will be simultaneously translated into Hebrew.






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