News & Media

April 16, 2010
Conference on “Difference and Culture of Dialogue”

The “Religious University Institutes and Faculties in Lebanon” organized a conference entitled “the difference and the culture of dialogue” in the Pontifical Faculty of Theology in the Holy Spirit University on the 16th of April 2010 in which participated many deans and teachers in addition to 70 students from the various faculties and institutes affiliated to the Gathering. It is worth mentioning that this Gathering which comprises 14 faculties and institutes is a Christian-Islamic Theological gathering with a university dimension.

The president of this Gathering Father George Khawam considered that this seminar “sheds the light on a priority which is the priority to gather and meet and the choice of this topic is a tune that should be constantly repeated”. He added: “the participation of students in the axes of the main topic and the exchange of opinion in these issues enrich the meeting and promote experience among the participants”. Father Khawam finally thanked the Holy Spirit University, especially the dean of the Faculty of Pontifical Theology Father Boulos Rouhana, for hosting this seminar.

Dr. Khoder Nabha talked after that about the difference and the culture of dialogue and stressed that one should go beyond himself and his identity and open up to others based on the five following rules: directly meeting the other, being objective and avoiding ill-intentions, avoiding generalization, promoting cultural future, enhancing common grounds and rejecting fanaticism. He also assured the necessity of defining the aims of dialogue “because we fear that this dialogue be sabotaged which leads to conflict inside the same nation since we have a history of misunderstandings and conflicts”.

Following a theoretical speech about “accepting the difference” in sacred religious texts, Father George Msouh stressed on the paradox between the openness of religions to the other on one hand, and the rejection of religious to this other throughout history on the other hand”. He added that the different person is either an enemy or a heretic and has therefore no place in the monotheist society, and if this different person was ever accepted he “won’t be following the right path”.

The students, teachers and deans were split into six groups and discussed the two questions asked by the speakers. The rapporteurs of these committees cited in a closing meeting the results of their consultations which are now being discussed by the deans in order to set the priorities and start working on their application. The meeting ended with a lunch reuniting the deans, the teachers and the students.
Holy Spirit University of Kaslik
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