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Wednesday, 22 April 2009, 11:00AM
Barnard's Inn Hall

Diversity and Danger - 'The Liberal and the Plural' and 'Clash and Contribution'

Professor Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, Professor Gwen Griffith-Dickson

This symposium hosted in association with the Lokahi Foundation will examine these paradoxes as they apply to religion, ethnicity, political views and economic systems. It will include the following talks:

The Liberal and the Plural: The political challenge of diversity to progressive nationalism by Professor Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad (Lokahi Foundation and Lancaster University)

- Why should 'identity' matter so much for both proponents and opponents of multiculturalism? - What should be common to people of a national society? History? Language? Something else? - Is the challenge to the idea of a liberal society also a challenge to the idea of universality?

Clash and Contribution: Living with Diverse Beliefs by Professor Gwen Griffith-Dickson (Gresham College, Lokahi Foundation and King's College London)

- Is consensus really the best way to operate? - Should extreme beliefs be eliminated or at least strongly discouraged for the sake of 'social cohesion'? And if so, how? - Can diversity be 'managed' so it remains constructive or are changemakers and activists best left to self-organise?

 The Lokahi Foundation undertakes multi-faith research on religious and community issues at the highest academic level. It undertakes outreach projects for the community, public service and other professionals. It is a multi-faith and multi-disciplinary organisation, addressing the contemporary issues of London, Britain, Europe and beyond.

professor-chakravarthi-ram-prasad

Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Lancaster University.

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professor-gwen-griffith-dickson

Professor Griffith-Dickson specialises in the philosophy and theology of different faiths. She has done groundbreaking work in bringing an interfaith approach to theology and the philosophy of religion. Her research work focuses on the beliefs of different religions, their mutual relations, and their impact on contemporary issues.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Professor Gwen Griffith-Dickson’s academic career has been spent entirely in London. At the University of London, Birkbeck College, she developed and managed the country’s largest continuing education programme in Religious Studies, along with Islamic Studies, Theology and Philosophy. She was the first woman to hold the Gresham Chair in Divinity in 2001 at Gresham College. She left Birkbeck in 2004 to found The Lokahi Foundation. With a background in theology and philosophy, teaching and research interests span the two disciplines, with a major focus on the philosophy of religion.
Gwen's principal research interests comprise the philosophical issues of religions, and the relation of different faiths and their shared histories and beliefs. She has a background in Continental European Philosophy, especially German thought, as well as a keen interest in Hawaiian Studies. Theological interests are at the philosophical end of theology: language, religious knowledge and metaphysics, interpretation and methodology.

All of Professor Griffith-Dickson’s previous lectures can be accessed here.

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Transcript

22 April 2009

Diversity and Danger - 'The Liberal and the Plural' and 'Clash and Contribution'
Professor Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad
Professor Gwen Griffith-Dickson

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