Christian-Muslim Building Bridges Forum to Tackle Justice and Rights
Thursday 23rd March 2006The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is to convene the fifth 'Building Bridges' seminar in Washington DC next week. More than thirty Christian and Muslim scholars from across the world will hold detailed discussions over three days.
The theme of this year's seminar is 'Justice and Rights: Christian and Muslim Perspectives'.
The conference will run from Tuesday to Thursday (March 28th - 30th 2006). It is being hosted by Dr John J DeGioia, the President of Georgetown University, who will also take part in the seminar, and is the second such gathering to be held at the University. This year's seminar follows on from similar events in London, Qatar and Sarajevo.
As previously, the seminar will consist each day of the public presentation of papers followed by private sessions for the participants.
Over the three days the focus of the seminar will move from Scriptural Foundations to Evolving Traditions to The Modern World. The participants will consider questions such as how Christians and Muslims have understood the role of political authority in the light of the justice of God, and how the responsibility of political authority for the unity of society can be reconciled with what has come to be known as the 'right to religious freedom'.
Dr Williams said that he hoped the conference would build on the work of previous gatherings:
"Muslims and Christians share a central concern for justice and human dignity but have often understood very differently how these are to be embodied in political life. This meeting is a very special opportunity to bring these understandings into closer dialogue, in the interests of a stable and just world."
As with previous 'Building Bridges' seminars, it is hoped that an account of the seminar's proceedings will be published in book form.