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Stanford to host multifaith conference on religious conflict and mediation

The Associated Students' Forum on Contemporary Issues will host a daylong conference titled "Exploring Religious Boundaries and Conflicts" on Saturday, Jan. 25. The conference will begin at 11 a.m. in Room 2 of Building 200 and is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

The event is being held in conjunction with the centennial celebration of Stanford's Memorial Church and will explore interfaith dialogue and the mediation of conflicts among various religious traditions.

"There is no more important time than now for serious, committed interreligious dialogue," said the Rev. Scotty McLennan, dean for religious life.

Anant Rambachan, a professor of religion, philosophy and Asian studies at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, will give the keynote address at 11 a.m. Rambachan, an expert on interreligious dialogue, particularly between Hinduism and Christianity, has worked with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the World Council of Churches.

The conference will feature two panels that will include faculty members, scholars and community members representing a variety of traditions. The first panel, which will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m., will focus on how religious faiths define themselves in relation to one another. The second panel, scheduled from 2:15 to 3:30 p.m., will focus on how these faiths subsequently deal with one another.

The event is designed to give students an opportunity to integrate ideas and strategies they learn during the panels into their lives and work at their residences and organizations, says Sumir Meghani, a senior at Stanford and an organizer of the event.

"The campus is eager for this type of event given the political climate in the world over the past few years," Meghani adds. "Bringing students, faculty and community members together to engage in a serious discussion about religion, conflict and mediation is critical."

The conference will conclude with a musical concert at 4:30 p.m. in Memorial Church by Talisman a cappella.



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