Cultural identity, spiritual values, and dialogue: multi-faith training of religious and world-view professionals as a breeding ground for societal resilience

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This paper focuses on the observation that giving core spiritual and cultural values the attention and appreciation they deserve may function as a more effective source of social cohesion and resilience than the recognition of universal human rights, whether or not enforced, by the government or a liberal majority. The Amsterdam Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies has succeeded in creating a unique academic micro-society with its joint training of Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Orthodox, Muslim, Protestant, and Humanist religious professionals. Starting from the fundamental values of each secular or religious tradition – such as self-purification, egalitarian and universal tolerance, man created in the image of God, muḥākāt Allah (making Allah’s qualities of justice, mercy, and forgiveness one’s own) or human dignity – future experts in world view and prospective religious leaders within the global society in all its diversity are taught to conduct a respectful multi-faith dialogue, with training in introspection, (interfaith) encounter, connection, and ensuring safety and trust. Given its pivotal role in the assimilation, emancipation, and integration of ethnic and other minorities and its contribution to a more resilient society, the faculty’s programme receives increasing appreciation and funding from the government and from other non-academic parties.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTraditional Spiritual and Cultural Values as Sources of Human Rights, Conference Proceedings
Pages1
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2016
EventThe Fifth Cross-Cultural Seminar on Human Rights: Traditional Spiritual and Cultural Values as Sources of Human Rights - Nankai University, Tianjin, China
Duration: 2 Dec 20163 Dec 2016

Conference

ConferenceThe Fifth Cross-Cultural Seminar on Human Rights
CountryChina
CityTianjin
Period2/12/163/12/16

Keywords

  • Cultural identity, values, dialogue, multi-faith training, societal resilience

VU Research Profile

  • Connected World

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