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Islam and Peaceful Relations
April 5, 2016
MBRN conference with the Centre for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations, University of Coventry
Islam has been an important force for peace in the world historically and now. Peace is integral to Islamic theology and Muslim ethos, either as part of the individual’s personal experience or the wider context of maintaining peaceful relations in society. Yet terrorism undermines this discourse around peace and Islam. Recent attacks in France, Lebanon and Bangladesh have once again put Islam at the fore of debates around religiously-motivated conflict. Terrorists constitute a very small proportion of the global Muslim population and their ideology at best represents only a fringe, yet the narratives they propound have a dominating influence in shaping how Islam and Muslims are perceived. This has resulted in an increased focus on radicalisation and preventing violent extremism in policy, media discourse and some academic research around Islam and Muslims in Britain and beyond, subverting most other narratives of Islam and Muslims.
This conference will ‘radically’ depart from this trend. Instead it will focus its discussion about Islam on dialogue, peace and peaceful relations. In doing so it will uncover Islamic theological traditions around peacebuilding, historical precedents of peaceful existence with Muslims and contemporary lived experiences of intra-faith and inter-cultural dialogue, improved societal understanding of difference and peaceful relations. The conference will move the debate beyond simplistic ‘good and bad’, ‘us and them’ binaries to more complex discussions that consider the impact of diverse social factors including, gender, class, economy and geography.
The Faith and Peaceful Relations Research Group at CTPSR explores the role religion can play in achieving more peaceful and just societies. Faith can be a driver of peace, reconciliation and social justice, yet it can also be a source of violence, exclusion and misunderstanding. This conference will build on our research expertise and will explore the positive difference faith and belief, in this case Islam, can make in today’s world and how conflicts relating to Islam can be overcome.
Proposals for papers, panel discussions, workshops and poster presentations that focus on one, or more, of the above themes are invited from scholars, community activists and policy makers. For the purposes of the conference, we do not define the term ‘Islam and Peaceful Relations’, but rather envisage that contributions will broaden our understanding of what this can mean in contemporary plural society.
The conference will explore themes including:
– Theological and sociological constructs and definitions of Islam and peace
– Contemporary debates, including the role of the digital world
– Interfaith and Inter-cultural dialogue
– Intra-faith dialogue across diverse Muslim denominations and traditions
– Local ramifications of international events and initiatives
– Develop a narrative of Islam and peace
Abstracts & Proposals:
To submit a proposal:
– Please submit a title and abstract of no more than 300 words, indicating whether it is a paper / panel / workshop / poster presentation.
– Please include names and short biographies (150 words maximum) of the presenter/s, institutional affiliation/s (if relevant), and contact details.
– Proposals should be sent to the conference administrator Charlotte Martin via email
– Deadline: 5pm on Monday 15th February 2016.
– Successful participants will be notified by 29th February 2016.