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Belief In Dialogue Conference at AUS
Under the patronage of Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan BinMohammad Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and Founder andPresident of American University of Sharjah (AUS), the British Council togetherwith AUS is set to host the Middle East's first 'Belief in Dialogue: Science,Culture and Modernity' conference. The three day conference will take placefrom June 21st - 23rd in association with the International Society for Scienceand Religion (ISSR) and will be held in Lecture Hall A in the AUS MainBuilding.
Over 40 of the world's leading thinkers, from across 10countries, will convene at AUS for the conference, which is part of the BritishCouncil's global Belief in Dialogue programme.
The three day international conference will incorporate amix of plenary lectures, discussions and parallel sessions. A debate hosted bythe BBC World Service is set to be a conference highlight and will invite aglobal audience to participate in the spirited exchange that will take placeover the course of the event.
As part of an ongoing initiative by the British Council toexplore how people all over the world can live peacefully amidst growingdiversity- the Middle East's first Belief in Dialogue conference will focus onthe convergence of science, culture and faith and will engage participants in ameaningful way about how these distinct yet linked forces are shaping thefuture of the region.
Patrick Brazier, Regional Director, MENA, British Council, said, "In the twentyfirst century, culture is not necessarily defined by national borders. Ourintention is to bring together people from diverse backgrounds to break throughthe constraints of the traditional 'science versus religion' debate."
"The British Council has expertise in creating environmentswhere this type of interaction can occur, and this event is central to our aimsof building engagement and trust through the exchange of knowledge and ideasaround the world," added Brazier.
Dr. Peter Heath, Chancellor of American University of Sharjah, said, "As one of the region's most important multicultural centres, the UAE provides an ideal venue from which to host a conference that aims to inspire young minds, stimulate thought and inspire new directions."
"The UAE is known for its opportune location at the cross-roads of East and West. We hope to build on this legacy by establishing its' status as a hub for the generation of ideas and opinions," concluded Dr. Heath.
Dr. Mark Rush, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at AUS said, "The issues that this conference will address are timely and vital. It is an honour and a privilege to have played a part hosting this event and working with an outstanding team of AUS faculty and staff to coordinate this conference in cooperation with the British Council and ISSR. I have no doubt that the discussions over the course of theconference will be enlightening and provocative."
From leading physicist Paul Davies arguing that the advances in the frontiers of science have led scientists to confront some of the deepest questions of existence that were formerly the exclusive domain of religion and philosophy, to Fulbright alumni Rana Dajani reporting on how the debate on stem cell ethics should be conducted in the Muslim world, the conference will cover a range of topical, socio-cultural issues.
The confirmed line-up of speakers at the conference include Patricia Fara: a historian of science at the University of Cambridge; Tariq Ramadan: Swiss Muslim intellectual, philosopher, and writer, currently Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University; Qanta Ahmed: author and Associate Professor of Medicine at the State University of New York; Ziauddin Sardar: writer and cultural-critic who specializes in the future of Islam, science and cultural relations and Dr. Nidhal Guessoum, Professor ofPhysics, AUS
The Middle East's first Belief in Dialogue: Science, Culture and Modernity Conference will take place between June 21st- 23rd, 2011 at American University of Sharjah. For more information on the programme and speakers please visit: http://www.aus.edu/conferences/BIDAUS2011/index.php