September 9th, 2011 | For more on this event, please visit:
Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs | Georgetown University

Religious liberty and tolerance are among the most central global issues facing us today. Too often scholars have approached them solely as philosophical questions or abstract universal imperatives, obscuring their meaning and significance within specific religious traditions. Any effort to deepen appreciation for religious liberty and tolerance while excluding religious voices is bound to fail. In conjunction with Calvin College, the Berkley Center convened scholars and practitioners from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim backgrounds to examine and compare resources supportive of religious freedom and tolerance within their own traditions. The participants were among the contributors to a forthcoming book, Abraham’s Children: Liberty and Tolerance in an Age of Religious Conflict (Yale University Press). The conference, made possible through the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation, concluded with an interfaith service in commemoration of September 11, 2001.

Each of the panels addressed the following questions:

1. Historically, how has your tradition been exploited by opponents of religious liberty and tolerance? Does such exploitation persist, and why?
2. What are the major resources within your tradition supportive of religious liberty and tolerance? What do they add to dominant secular human rights discourse?
3. How can interfaith dialogue and activism advance the liberty and tolerance agenda? What dangers and pitfalls do you see along the way?

Panel 2: Jewish Perspectives
Keynote: Nurit Peled-Elhanan, "The Educational Stakes"
Panel discussion with Arik Ascherman, Nurit Peled-Elhanan, and Leah Shakdiel, moderated by Michael Cromartie

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