religions


Department of Theology & Religions was founded in March 21, 2001, for the purpose of highlighting the role of religion in dialogue among civilizations. We are of the conviction that dialogue among the followers of religions for the purpose of understanding one another can be useful in solving the problems and issues existing in our world.  

Structure & Staff 

Expert:                          Mr. Seyed Mostafa Shahraeeni
Scientific Committee      Dr. Mohammad Mojtahed Shabestari, Dr. Gholamhossein Ebrahimi Dinani, Dr. Fathollah Mojtabaee, Dr. Ataollah Mohajerani, Dr. Mohsen Kadivar, Mr. Saeed Edalatnejad, Dr. Nasrollah Poorjavadi, Dr. Shahram Pazooki, Mr. Mohammad Taghi Karami  

Objectives

  •  Conducting research on the major existing religious resources and texts and translating them into Farsi

  • Establishing relations with the thinkers of other religions

  • Introducing the reciprocal influence of western and Islamic thinkers� thoughts and methods on one another�s� ways of study, especially from the modern era onward

  • Reviewing the results of different contemporary methods, concepts and values of Theology in the world today and examining their relation with the Islamic teachings

Scientific Committees 

The four committees of the Dept. of Religions are:

  1. Fundamentals of Dialogue among Religions
  2. Dialogue among Religions
  3. Religious Reformists and the New Religious Movements
  4. Islam and Modernity (Reviewing the Different Interpretations of Quran)

1. Committee of the Fundamentals of Dialogue among Religions

Secretary:         Dr. Ebrahim Soltani
Missions:
         Determining the role of theoretical issues in dialogue among civilizations

This committee works on the following issues:

  • Elaborating the concept of dialogue among religions (defining religion, dialogue and dialogue among religions)

  • Presupposition, impediments and useful factors in dialogue

  • Objectives and rules of dialogue

  • Priorities of participants of dialogue

  • Samples of dialogue, past and present

  • Religious pluralism and universal theology

  • Methods of studying religion and dialogue among religions (Hermeneutic methods of theology, methods of historical critique-writing and phenomenology)

  • Essence of religions

  • Religious experiences

  • Language of religion

2. Committee of Dialogue among Religions

Secretary:         Dr. Seyyed Amir Akrami
Mission:
           The committee is interested in holding dialogue on issues common and of interest to all religions and their followers, as well as issues that have an impact on man�s destiny.

Some of the issues that this committee works on are as follows:

  • Religious tolerance and dialogue among civilizations
  • Religious faith in the modern world
  • Religious morality in the modern world
  • Religions and the phenomena of globalization
  • Religion, science and technology
  • Religion and culture
  • God in major religions
  • Religion and environment
  • Religion and the latest medical achievements (such as genetic engineering, medical research, abortion, family planning)
  • Religion and the question of evil
  • Religion and politics

3. Committee of Religious Reformists and the New Religious Movements

Mission:              Studying the reformist interpretations of different religions is among the committee�s objectives, presuming that dialogue among this class of believers is accepted and has the potential to improve.

4. Committee of Islam and Modernity (Reviewing the Different Interpretations of Quran)

Secretary:         Mr. Mohammad Taghi Karami
Mission:
           Studying the impact of modernity on Muslim thinkers, Islamic teachings and different interpretations of Islam and the functionality of each interpretation.
 

The committee focuses on the following issues:

  1. Theoretical studies on:
          - Islam and modern reason
          - Islam and human rights, with regard to major issues such as:
                 I. Women
                 II. Freedom of speech (Freedom of religious beliefs)
                 III. Religious minorities
                 IV. The concept of executing the Islamic Shari �a
                 V. Slavery
         - Islam and secularism (specifically covering the issue of state and religion)

  2. Case studies, mostly dealing with practical aspects and experiences, and as so mainly focusing on the world of Islam vis-�-vis modernity, with regard to the geographical and historical situation of each Islamic country.

    List of case studies:

  • Southeast Asian Muslims and modernity

  • Iranian Muslims and modernity

  • Turk Muslims and modernity

  • Central Asian Muslims and modernity

  • Arab Muslims and modernity

  • Indian peninsula Muslims and modernity

  • African Muslims (non-Arab) and modernity

  • West-based Muslim minorities (Europe and the United States) and modernity 

Associated Organizations (Iranian theology centers and universities) 

  • Faculty of Theology, Tehran University (Religion and Mysticism branch)
  • Research Center for Human Sciences and Cultural Studies (Research Bureau for Knowledge and Religions)
  • Department of Scientific Researches, Azad university, PhD level of Theology
  • Institute for Dialogue among Religions, Tehran
  • Islamic Culture and Communications Organization, Secretariat of Dialogue among Religions
  • Qom Center for Religious Studies

Activities (2001- 2002 - 2003)

Activities 2001

International Gatherings

  • Lectures and Q&A sessions for Professor Br�mmer in Tehran, Qom, Isfahan, Shiraz/ 4-13/10/2001 / Organized with the cooperation of the said university centers

  • Lecture on the Significance of Karbala in Other Cultures/ Professor Fredrick De Jong / November 3, 2001

  • Lecture on Religions and New Achievements in Medical Researches/ Dr. Miandari/ November 29, 2001

  • Three gatherings for Mr. Mohammad Abed Al-Jaaberi from Morocco/ February/ Organized with the cooperation of Qom University

Research Projects

  • Three research projects on the issues pertaining to the activities of the Committee of the fundamentals of dialogue among religions/ fall-winter/ organized by colleague researchers

  • Three research projects on the issues pertaining to the activities of the Committee of Dialogue among religions /fall-winter/ organized by colleague researchers

  • One research project on the issues pertaining to the activities of the Committee of Religious reformists and understanding the recent religious movements/ winter/ organized by colleague researchers

  • One research project on the issues pertaining to the activities of the Committee of Islam and modernity/ winter

  • Reviewing John Winsborrow�s views on the interpretation of Quran/ fall-winter/ organized by colleague researchers 

Translations

  • Translation of proposed books on religions from English to Farsi/ fall-winter 2001

  • Translation of proposed books on Religions from Arabic to Farsi/ winter 2001

  • Translation of some selected local articles on theology into Arabic and English

Books proposed for translation

  1. Companion Encyclopedia of Theology, Edited by Peter Byrne and Leslie Holden, Routledge, London, 1995

  2. The Concepts of God, Keith Ward, Oxford Press, 1987

  3. Is there a God?, Richard Swinburne, Oxford University Press Inc, New York, 1996

  4. Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics, Jean Grondin, Yale University Press, New and Haven and London, 1991

  5. Must God Remain Greek?

  6. Popular Dictionaries of Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam

  7. A History of Hermeneutics, Emilio Betti, Humanities, 1989

  8. The  Development  of  Exegesis  in  Early  Islam : The   Authenticity   of   Muslim Literature from the Formative Period, Berg Herbert, Richmond  (Surrey, UK): Curzon Press, 2000. 251 PP

  9. Towards a World Theology, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Macmillan, 1981

  10. An Interpretation of Religion, John Hick, Yale, 1989

  11. Religions Pluralism and Truth, Thomas Dear (Editor), University of NY, 1995

  12. Islam: A Challenge For Christianity, Edited by Hans Kung and Jurgen Moltmann, SCMPress, London, 1994

  13. Toward a Universal Theology of Religion, Edited by Leonard Swidler, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York, 1987

  14. Muslim-Christian Perceptions of Dialogue Today, Edited by Jacques Waardenburg, Peeters, 2000 

Bibliography

  • Bibliography of Dialogue among religions in the last 3 decades/ fall-winter/ organized by colleague researchers

  • Bibliography of Religious reformists and the recent religious movements /fall-winter

  • Bibliography of Theology (to expand the religious collection of ICDAC library)

Articles

  • Fifteen articles on issues pertaining to the 4 committees (including translation and compilation)/ fall-winter/ organized by ICDAC

  • Fifteen articles on issues pertaining to the 4 committees (including translation and compilation)/ fall-winter/organized by colleague researchers

  • Thirty articles titled �Book Review� (one book per article)/ fall-winter/ organized by ICDAC

  • PhD thesis on religions, written inside the country and abroad (Endorsed by ICDAC)

Lectures 

  • Lecture series by Prof. Vincent Br�mmer/ October 4-13, 2001/ Dept. of Religions / Organized by ICDAC
    - Modern & Postmodern Understanding of Religion / 4/10/2001
    - Tradition, Changes & Identity / 6/10/2001
    - On the Love of God / 9/10/2001
    - What Do We Do When We Pray? / 11/10/2001
    - Ultimate Happiness / 13/10/2001
    - The Crisis of the Faith / TV Interview

  • The Short History of Hermeneuitics on Religious Texts in the West / Dr. Mohammad Reza Beheshti - Tehran university professor / Organized with the cooperation of Islamic Culture and Communications Organization / 19/12/2001, 25/12/2001/ Dept. of Religions

  • The Significance of Karbala in Other Cultures: Case Study from Historical & Anthropological Viewpoint in Caribbean Region (South America) / Prof. F. De Jong (Prof. of Utrecht University) / 3/11/2001 / Dept. of Religions

  • Religions & New Achievements in Medical Researches / Dr. H. Miandari (Prof. of Tehran University) / 29/11/2001 / Dept. of Religions

  •  

Activities 2002

Missions

  • A director and a colleague professor to India, aiming to prepare the groundwork for dialogue with Hindus and Buddhists

  • A group member to three Arab countries for two weeks, for the purpose of getting acquainted with the impact of modernity on these countries

  • A colleague professor to European countries for one week, aiming to prepare the groundwork for dialogue

Lectures

  • Phenomenological Method in Religious Studies/ Dr. Mohammad Reza Rikhtegaran (Tehran University professor) / Organized with the cooperation of Knowledge and Philosophy Institute / 19/6/2002 / Dept. of Religions

  • The Short History of Hermeneuitics on Religious Texts in the West / Dr. Mohammad Reza Beheshti (Tehran university professor) / Organized with the cooperation of Islamic Culture and Communications Organization /1/1/2002, 8/1/2002,15/1/2002 / Dept. of Religions

  • The Objectives of the Genuine Inter-religious Dialogue & its Rules/ Mohammad Legenhausen (American professor in Qum)/ Organized with the cooperation of Knowledge and Philosophy Association / 20/4/2002 / Dept. of Religions

  • The Axis of the Friendship & Dialogue: Reflections on Relations between Christians & Muslims / Dr. Tarek Mitri (Secretary of the World Council of Churches) / 10/2/2002 / Dept. of Religions

  • Religion in the Contemporary World: A Study Concerning the Book "The Sea of the Faith" & its Movements (Dun Kupit) / Hooman Panahandeh (Researcher) / 21/5/2002, 28/5/2002/ Dept. of Religions

  • Religion & Terrorism (Comparative View to Religions) / Dr. Sadri (Iranian Prof. in U.S.A.) / 14/8/2002 / Dept. of Religions

  • Religion, Civilization & Globalization / Dr. S. AmirArjmand (Iranian Prof. in USA & Editor of the Journal of International Sociology) / 23/9/2002 / Dept. of Religions

  • Lecture series by Prof. Plantinga (Prof. of Yale University) / October 19-23, 2002/ Dept. of Religions / Organized by ICDAC
    - How Can a Dialogue be Built on Totalitarian Foundations? (ICDAC Community Hall, Oct. 17)
    -
    Warrant & Reformed Epistemology / 19/10/2002 / Society of Philosophical Studies
    - Against Naturalism / 20/10/2002 / University of Tarbiat Modarres
    - Modality & Possible Worlds / 20/10/2002 / The Centre for Researches on Theoretical Physics & Mathematics 
    - Evolution & Design / 21/10/2002 / University of Qum 
    - Religious Pluralism / 23/10/2002 / Dept. of Religions
    - Systematic Theology (Knowledge and Philosophy Association, Oct.19)
    - Faith in the Age of Science (Allame Tabataba'ee University, Oct. 20)
    - Role of Modality in Analytic Philosophy (Center for Theoretical Researches, Oct. 20)

  • Zoroasterianism & its Philosophy / Dr. K. Vafadari (Iranian Prof. of Paris University) / 17/12/2002 / Dept. of Religions

National Gatherings

  • Commemoration of Abu-Reihan Birooni

  • Tradition and Modernism with a Focus on Iran

  • Religious Tolerance and Dialogue among Civilizations

International Gatherings

  • Lecture on Evaluating Dialogues between Islam and Christianity in the last 50 years / Dr. Tarek Mitri - Secretary General for the Assessment of Dialogue between Islam and Christianity in the last 50 years, World Council of Churches �W.C.C� / 10/2/2002 / Dept. of Religions

  • Avenues for dialogue/ Dr. Anthony Wessel (University of Amsterdam, Holland)

  • Lecture series by Prof. Alvin Plantinga - Prominent American Philosopher and Director of the Center for Philosophy of Religion at Notre Dame University (October 17-20, 2002)

  • Conferences on Religious Tolerance and Dialogue among Civilizations (October 2002)

  • Conference on "Islam-Terrorism and World Peace" (August 2002)

  • Conference on Islam & World Peace -10 lectures and discussions (29-30/)ctober, 2003

General

  • Publication of an edition of Pol-e-Firouzeh Magazine in Farsi and English (November 2002)

Activities 2003

  • Lectures

  • Lecture series by Prof. Kosei Morimoto (Abbot of Join Todaiji Temple, Japan)
    With the cooperation of Japanese Embassy in Tehran 
    -  The
    Significance of Buddhism in the Modern Era / 22/1/2003 / University of Imam Sadeq
    - Nations and Buddhism in the 8th Century in Japan / 25/1/2003
    - Between Islam & Buddhism: An Essay on the Formation of Sufism / 26/1/2003 / University of Tarbiat Modarres
    - What is Islam? from my Viewpoint as a Buddhist; and What is Buddhism? form my Viewpoint as  Muslim (Discussion) / Co-Lecturer: Dr. F. Mojtabai (Prof. of Tehran University) 28/1/2003

  • Interpretation of Zoroastrianism / Dr. Hosein Vahidi / 28/4/2003 / Dept. of Religions

  • Historical Critique and Religious Hermeneutic from Bultman's Viewpoint / Dr. Shahram Pazooki/ Tehran University professor and member of ICDAC Dept. of Religions/ Organized with the cooperation of Knowledge and Philosophy Association / 26/2/2003 / Dept. of Religion

  • Jewish Fundamentalism and recent developments in Zionism / Dr. Navid Kermani (Iranian Professor at Hamburg University) / 9/6/2003 / Dept. of Religions

  • From Confucianism to Socialism in China / H. E. Liu Zhertang (Ambassador of Republic of China) / 4/8/2003 / Dept. of Religions

  • Religous sects and cultures in the Irac after Saddam  / Dr. Abdoljabbar Al-Rafaie (Editor in Chief, Lebanese magazine Ghazaya Al-Islamiyah) / 1/9/2003 / Dept. of Religions

Contact

Religions@dialoguecentre.org