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Theology hosts historic inter-religious conference
12 September 2017

The Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria co-hosted the first international inter-religious conference entitled “Religion in Dialogue” with the Centre for Interreligious Dialogue at the University of Tehran and the Department of Arts and Culture, as part of its centenary celebration. The conference took place at the SRC Chambers on 23 and 24 August 2017.

In the broader definition of religion, it is generally understood that humans are religious beings. In the majority of belief systems, religion generally perpetuates peace and harmony; yet throughout history, we have seen an escalation in religious extremism and intolerance across the world. In as much as the moderate and peaceful religious communities and NGOs are involved in peace efforts, there is a need for the academia to research and identify some of the root causes that leads to religious extremism and intolerance emanating from religions as well as suggest a framework for consolidating a way forward to address this problem.

Therefore, UP’s Faculty of Theology hosted this historic conference to bring together scholars in religion who can contribute towards sharing historical and contemporary perspectives on the root causes of violence associated with religion. The aim of the conference was to assist in moving towards an understanding of this problem with the intention of providing a framework for addressing religious intolerance and violence. A host of international scholars presented papers on issues related to inter-religious dialogue, which addressed some of these fundamental issues.

On the evening of 23 August 2017, an Inter-Religious Gala Dinner was held. This occasion saw a number of dignitaries, which included representatives from the UN, Department of Arts and Culture and numerous Ambassadors and High Commissioners from other countries in attendance. At this event, the Buddhist Temple of Nan Hua in Bronkhorstspruit and the Institute of Islamic Encyclopaedia of Iran presented the Faculty with encyclopaedias illustrating the historical religious traditions of both religions. Further to this, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the University of Pretoria and the University of Tehran.  

View the event's photo gallery


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Last edited by Judith FourieEdit