Interfaith Dialogue 2002
The Role and Responsibility of Religion in The Contemporary World
Ball room of Prague Castle, July 3, 2002, 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
The Forum 2000 Foundation and President Václav Havel are launching a new project entitled "Bridging Global Gaps (BGG)." BGG draws upon the tradition of the Forum 2000 conferences, which took place in Prague between the years 1997 and 2001. It aims at promoting understanding and providing space for dialogue among various actors in the globalized society.
As an important part of the Forum 2000 gatherings, Interfaith Assemblies were held annually at St. Vitus Cathedral, pointing out the responsibility of different religions in the contemporary world. During last year's conference, Václav Havel, in his Message to the Representatives of World Religions, called for a Grand Spiritual Coalition. The meeting, "The Role and Responsibility of Religion in the Contemporary World," is meant to be a first step in fulfilling this idea.
The roundtable should address the following concerns:
- To what extent are contemporary globalization processes influencing and changing the relationships among religions? What should be the basis for relations among religions in today‘s world?
- How, and to what extent, is it possible to minimize the abuse of religious ideas and symbols that are used to justify intolerance and conflict in the contemporary world?
- What are some positive examples of understanding and cooperation among those who practice different religions and how can these positive examples be encouraged in the future?
- Can we expect a consensus among the representatives of the world's religions in the process of formulating basic ethical values? Can cooperation among the world's religions contribute to the promotion of a "moral minimum" in the documents of international organizations and in the sphere of international law?
Such a broad range of issues cannot be resolved in one meeting, or even in a dozen. However, building bridges between religions is building bridges between cultures. It is a process with no end. Providing space for such a dialogue is characteristic of Prague; it has been at the crossroads between cultures, religions, and ideas for centuries. And Prague will always welcome those who share the will to make a difference.
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