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07 June 2013

Drew University launches first Summer Institute on Religion & Conflict Resolution

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Thirty emerging religious leaders from across the globe are coming together to learn about the latest techniques in conflict resolution and peacemaking.

IMO News Service

Madison, New Jersey: Drew University’s Center on Religion, Culture & Conflict (CRCC) will host the first Drew Institute on Religion and Conflict Resolution this June to train 30 Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders from around the world in religious conflict transformation and peacemaking.

Through a series of seminars, workshops and other activities led by scholars and senior religious leaders with expertise in the field, this unique program will allow up-and-coming lay and clerical leaders to live and engage with each other as they study for three weeks on Drew’s campus.

“Through the intensive training they receive, these emerging leaders will be better equipped both to challenge radical religious leaders and manifest a positive alternative influence on their congregations, constituencies, and communities with regard to building positive relationships with other communities,” said Director of the CRCC and Professor of Comparative Religion, Chris Taylor.

The Drew Institute on Religion and Conflict Resolution will run from June 10, 2013 through July 3, 2013 and will focus on training Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious leaders, including both clergy and lay leaders -- both male and female - -from Egypt, Indonesia, Israel, Pakistan and Nigeria. The participating countries were selected based on the recurrence of communal religious conflict and the presence of religious leaders with vital experience in the field of conflict resolution.

Some participants include: Nardine Nashaat, a peace activist from Cairo, Egypt; Nerlian Gogali, founder of Institute Mosintuwu, a women’s grassroots peace movement in Indonesia; Samson Auta, Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC) Coordinator for the Northwest region of Nigeria; Yael Gidanyan, board chair of the Interfaith Encounter Association in Israel; and Muhammad Raghib Hussain, principal of the Jamia Naeemia, the largest moderate madrassa in Lahore, Pakistan, whose father was assassinated for opposing the Taliban.

The Drew CRCC continues to work closely with local partners in each of these countries to identify participants and plan the structure and content of the Institute. Drew will host the Summer Institute for three consecutive years, thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. By 2016, Drew University aims to have 18 trained leaders from each country who will establish a global network of young religious peacemakers.

About the CRCC

Drew’s Center on Religion, Culture & Conflict focuses critical scholarly attention on the complex ways in which cultures and religions interact, especially in moments of crisis and conflict. The CRCC seeks to encourage and facilitate scholarly understanding of and conversation about the most problematic, and often tragic, intersections where religions and cultures meet.

The CRCC supports a number of projects and initiatives, including: hosting distinguished visiting scholars; sponsoring lectures, symposia, and roundtable discussions to promote scholarship and it supports promising model projects to enhance inter-religious and cross-cultural understanding.

For details, contact:

Cara Townsend
Telephone: 973-408-3227
Email: ctownsend@drew.edu

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