PRLog (Press Release)
- Nov. 1, 2013 -
The UK and US Provinces of the Xaverian Missionaries are co-sponsoring a conference at their Conforti Institute in Coatbridge, Scotland from the 8th
through the 10th
of November which will bring together people who believe in God and people who don’t. Entitled, Common Ground: A Conversation Among Religious Believers and Humanists on Values and Ethics,
the conference will provide a safe space for discussion without rancor or derision. The goal is to eliminate any barriers that separate us and identify the values we share in working for a better world for all.
Fr. Carl Chudy SX, US Provincial states: “The purpose of our gathering of people of different faiths and humanists is a dialogue, not merely of a mutual tolerance, but rather of a mutual respect and cooperation around the values and ethics we all share. It is an opportunity to build bridges of understanding and to break down the barriers of fear, born of ignorance, skepticism and indifference. It is meant to encourage a sense of solidarity and cooperation between believers and non-believers that may be carried back into the communities where the participants live and work.”
The conference will be moderated by Dr. William Storrar, Director of the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton (http://www.ctinquiry.org/
) a leading research center bringing theologians and scholars in the sciences and humanities together to work on issues facing religion and society related to local and global citizenship. Keynote speakers for the event will be Fr. John Sivalon MM, former Superior General of Maryknoll Missioners and author of God’s Mission and Postmodern Culture: The Gift of Uncertainty,
and Chris Stedman, Assistant Chaplain and Values in Action Coordinator for the Humanist Community at Harvard University, and author of Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious
and the founder of the first blog dedicated to exploring atheist-interfaith engagement, NonProphet Status.
Also presenting will be Callum Brown, social and cultural historian and Professor of Late Modern European History at the University of Glasgow; Prerna Abbi, the Alumni Program Associate at Interfaith Youth Core who is a secular Hindu and Maureen Sier, Director and Development and Education Officer of the Scottish Inter faith Council where she manages both national and international projects facilitating dialogue between faith traditions.
A highlight of the conference will be a panel presentation at the Scottish Parliament to which the wider public has been invited. Joining the discussion there will be Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic and Inter-religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh.
Those interested can join the “conversation”
virtually via our blog (http://religious-secular-dialogue.blogspot.com/
and Twitter Feed (https://twitter.com/secreldialogue/
set up just for this occasion. A daily podcast is also planned facilitated by Brian Pellot of Religion News Service.
Fr. Chudy hopes this will be just the first step in continued outreach to and dialogue with the secular community.
Eight hundred Xaverian missionaries currently serve in: Bangladesh, Burundi, Brazil, Cameroon, Chad, Colombia, Dem. Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Mozambique, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Spain, Thailand, Taiwan, the UK and the USA
Mission: Inspired by St. Guido Conforti and St. Francis Xavier, we, Xaverian Missionaries, serve to keep the local Church aware of, engaged with and connected to the missionary mandate of the universal Church, principally by witnessing Jesus to those who have yet to know Him.