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Symposium 2013

Can Religion Help Solve Global Problems?

The Challenge

Many global problems such as climate change require global solutions that will often involve the provision of costly public goods. While the benefits outweigh the costs at the global level, this may not be the case in every country or for every social group. Accordingly, individuals – as voters, consumers, investors or politicians – are more likely to support costly global solutions if they care more strongly about the global common good than about themselves or their nation, social or religious group.

Since the world’s population is becoming more religious, the question arises of how religious beliefs and practices affect people’s attitudes towards the global common good. On the one hand, the Golden Rule – “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – is emphasized by all major religions: It could plausibly become the spiritual foundation of a “global ethic” that promotes international cooperation, sustainable development and economic justice. On the other hand, exclusivist fundamentalist movements are prominent in several world religions and sectarian strife along religious lines is increasing in many communities.

To what extent do prevailing religious beliefs and practices foster individuals’ commitment to the global common good? When they do not, can religious leaders and institutions reinterpret sacred scriptures to render beliefs and practices compatible with international and inter-religious cooperation? Are there spiritual insights within the existing religious traditions that can be given more prominence to promote a spirit of cooperation?

This session is part of the issue cluster "New Opportunities for Global Cooperation" and organized in cooperation with Evangelical Luthern Church in Northern Germany - North Church Worldwide.

    Proposals

    Proposal
    Symposium 2013

    Religion and Global Stability: Some Solution Proposals

    In order to survive man must acquire knowledge, he must go through the process of learning, he must go through the process of thinking, he must activate his faculty of reason. This is why we have it i ...

    In order to survive man must acquire knowledge, he must go through the process of learning, he must go through the process of thinking, he must activate his faculty of reason. This is why we have it in our Islamic tradition that: - The first thing created by God was the ’aql (reason), as well as that: - The reason is God’s Scale on Earth - as the great Muslim philosopher and mystic Imam al-Ghazālī had said. [سعلطان العقل الذي هو ميزان الله في الارض]. Yes, you are right to ask: but where is this 'aql (reason) and where is

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2013

    Dialogue of Life, not the Clash of Cultures

    The western economic and political model is in crisis. This creates an opportunity for the major world religions to exert greater influence within the needed transformation process, because their visi ...

    The western economic and political model is in crisis. This creates an opportunity for the major world religions to exert greater influence within the needed transformation process, because their visions are based on radically different foundational beliefs and outlooks. It remains difficult to assess just how much the new Pope Francis will change the Church. One thing has already become clear, however. Despite the decline in membership of the Catholic Church, particularly in Europe, the head of the world’s almost 1.2 billion Catholics enjoys a high degree of acceptance as a moral authority. It is also clear that he will

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society