On Monday November 16, 2020, the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue and The Jewish Theological Seminary’s Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue co-sponsored the annual John Paul II Lecture on Interfaith Understanding with Professor Azza Karam, the new Secretary General of Religions for Peace International, as guest speaker on the topic “A Dialogue of Love: Interreligious Cooperation and Global Well-Being.”
This year due to the global pandemic, the event was virtual which meant we were able to have over 235 people from around the world join us via Zoom to listen Professor Karam share about the important role of religious actors and multifaith alliances in building peace. She strongly advocated for faith actors, communities and institutions do work in conflict transformation and peace building for several key reasons including:
- Faiths are social and cultural gatekeepers
- Globally, religious institutions are the largest and most far-reaching social service providers
- Religious Actors, communities & institutions are first responders in humanitarian crises around the world
- In many parts of the world, religious leaders are heavily vested actors and partners in politics
- Religious institutions are among the most creatively self-resourced institutions in the world
Throughout her lecture, Professor Karam emphasised that when we work together across lines of religious difference for the common good in the current Pandemic, we sow the seeds of social cohesiveness, laying the foundation for a future world of peace made possible through interreligious action.
It was an inspiring night; We are very thankful for everyone who attended and all of the organizers whose work made the night a great success!
If you would like to read the transcript of Professor Karam’s full speech, you can find and download it here.