Religion after September 11th World CongressMontreal, Quebec, September 11–15, 2006
This global conference, organized by Professor Arvind Sharma and a team of international scholars, began on the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in 2001. Conference themes stressed the commonalities among religions seeking peace, the unity all religions share in our common humanity, the necessity for religions to formulate cogent views of human rights, and the importance of nonviolent socially engaged religion.
Those themes were carried through the congress in individual paper presentations, panel discussions, and plenary sessions. The participants represented many nations and religions with Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian scholars, religious leaders and lay persons participating at every level of the conference.
A central feature of many of the presentations was the connection between the political realm and religion. How religions could formulate their sources for human rights and press for human rights implementation, what forms of just war theory could be developed for the current age of terrorist warfare, and how religious groups could be protected from indiscriminate or dishonest proselytizing were among the topics addressed.
The Religion after September 11th World Congress brought together people of different religions, political persuasions, and cultures around issues crucial to us all. [End Page 141]