Common Word Conference
The Boundaries of Religious Pluralism & Freedom: The Devil is in the Detail
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
ICC Auditorium, Intercultural Center
As the official representative of A Common Word in North America, ACMCU is hosting this conference on the fifth anniversary of the historic Common Word initiative. The program is a follow-up to A Common Word: A Global Agenda for Change, held in October 2009 andResponding to the Challenges of Religious Pluralism & Conflict Resolution, held in April 2011. This year’s conference will explore the challenge of religious pluralism and intercommunal conflicts in Christian-Muslim relations today in post Arab Spring governments in Egypt and Tunisia, and their impact on religious freedom, civil liberties and security, equality of citizenship, and gender relations.
*Note: The Common Word Conference, originally scheduled for Oct 31, 2012, was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. This is the rescheduled program.*
Opening John L. Esposito, Georgetown University
Welcome President John J. DeGioia, Georgetown University
Panel 1: Are There Limits to Religious Freedom that Religions Agree On?
Few dispute the value and centrality of religious freedom, but religious traditions also often guard areas of faith, practice, or community that they hold beyond the reach of that freedom. If religious traditions agree on the importance of religious freedom, can they agree to limitations on blasphemy, building churches, and missionary work?
Richard Cizik, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good
David Law, Georgetown University Law Center & Washington University in St. Louis
Thomas Farr, Georgetown University
Farid Esack, University of Johannesburg - South Africa
11:00-11:15am -- Coffee Break
Panel 2: Challenges to the Relationship of Law to Religion in Western Democracies and in Post Arab Spring State Building
Religious communities have had different arrangements with the (nation) states in which they exist. In Western secular democracies, the relationship between state and religion and the complexities this poses for religious freedom have emerged more clearly than ever. At the same time, in Egypt and Tunisia, questions of the relationship of religion to the state and its impact on equality of citizenship and religious freedom are at the forefront in state building. What will the Arab Spring mean for religious freedom? Will governments dominated by Islamic parties seek to limit it or embrace it?
Mohammad Fadel, University of Toronto
Emad Shahin, American University in Cairo - Egypt
Said Ferjani, Al-Nahda Party - Tunisia
Mohamed Yousry Salama, Al-Dostour Party - Egypt
Nancy Okail, Freedom House - Egypt
12:45-1:45pm -- Break
Plenary: The Challenge of Religious Pluralism in Christian-Muslim Relations: The Arab Spring
However different, Muslim countries from emerging democracies in Egypt and Tunisia struggle with the issue of religious pluralism in guaranteeing equality of citizenship and political representation. What are the key issues and the way forward?
Chris Seiple, Institute for Global Engagement
Seyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University
Abdulaziz Sachedina, University of Virgina
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington Emeritus
Dalia Mogahed, Former Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies
3:30-3:45pm -- Coffee Break
Panel 3: Gender & Religious Freedom in Christian-Muslim Relations
Do gender issues (for example: hijab, shariah, family laws, education) create obstacles for multi-faith understanding/relations, religious freedom, and civil liberties?
Tamara Sonn, College of William & Mary
Margot Badran, Georgetown University
Kathleen Moore, University of California Santa Barbara
Merve Kavakci-Islam, George Washington University
For a map showing the location of the Intercultural Center, please visit:
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 9:00am to 5:00pm
Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center, Auditorium
37th and O St., N.W., Washington