Faith Forward Symposium 2008
“Anyone who watches the nightly news knows that the stories we tell shape the way we view the world. Many of the most important stories come from our religious traditions,” says Canada Research Chair in Interpretation, Religion, and Culture, Jens Zimmermann, Ph.D.
Zimmermann along with Paul Rowe, Ph.D., and John Dyck, D.PHIL., began a partnership between Trinity Western University and JOYTV10 (formerly Rogers Omni) to explore Canada’s different religious traditions in a way that does not water down differences between particular religious beliefs.
The five-year venture, entitled Faith Forward: Exploring Religion, Culture, and Conflict, began in 2006. The project consists of yearly symposia that provide an open public forum for various religious and non-religious communities to engage in dialogue and expression on subjects of religion and culture and the part they each play in the world.
The desire of Zimmermann, Rowe, and Dyck is that by encouraging thoughtful discussion on both points of agreement and disagreement within and between religious traditions, all participants will gain greater understanding and appreciation of the powerful role that religion has on daily human experience.
Past symposia have featured intellectual heavyweights like Richard Kearney (Philosophy: Boston College), Simon Critchley (Philosophy: New York School of Social Research), Father Raymond de Souza (Queen’s University Chaplain; National Post columnist), Paul Gottfried (Political Philosophy: Elizabethtown College), Shabir Ally (Muslim apologist, and host of the television program, Let the Qur’an Speak), and Afghan-Canadian journalist and actress Nelofer Pazira (Kandahar). These keynote speakers have addressed audiences on topics as varied as religion and war; the maintenance of cultural identity through religion; how the U.S. mixes politics and religion, and how Canada does or doesn’t; and what the separation of church and state looks like.
The three scholars were awarded $100,000 ($20,000 each year for five years) from JOYTV10 for the symposium.
For more information on the 2009 symposium visit www.twu.ca/rcc
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