The ACU Interfaith Conference

International Theological Conference: Interfaith Dialogue. Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. 26 (Mon) – 29 (Thurs) May 2014

Paths to Dialogue in our age

In our age when day by day humanity is being drawn closer together, and the ties between different peoples are becoming stronger, the adherents of the world’s religions are examining what they have in common and what draws them to fellowship. through the praxis of interfaith dialogue some headway has already been made on this path to peace, understanding and collaboration.Within roman Catholicism, the second vatican Council, convened by Pope John XXIII, heightened the consciousness of the Church with regard to other religions. his successor, Pope Paul vi, had as his first encyclical the 1964 document Ecclesiam Suam (subtitled “paths of the church”) where dialogue was promoted as the new way of being Church. hence, the theme of the present conference, beginning with “paths to dialogue,” commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the proclamation of this landmark document. the topic of dialogue was given further attention in the 1965 document Nostra Aetate (“in our age”) which counseled the Church to be in “dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions.”While celebrating the bold spirit of dialogue expressed in these two documents, we are conscious that much has changed in the world in the last half century, even within the sphere of inter-religious relations. With this in view, the Centre for inter- religious Dialogue at Australian Catholic university (ACU-CID) is hosting an international theological Conference to explore the advances and setbacks of the last five decades and to investigate new paths that can contribute to the wellbeing
of humanity and the entire cosmos in our age.



115 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia T: +61 (0)3 9953 3920

Plenary Speakers

Prof Michael Barnes SJ, Professor of theology at heythrop College, london.

Ven. Robina Courtin, Australian ordained nun in the tibetan buddhist Gelugpa tradition.

Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, Former president, Pontifical Council for inter-religious Dialogue.

Rev. Gerald O’Collins SJ, Professor emeritus, Pontifical Gregorian university (Rome).

Rev. John Pawlikowski OSM, Director of Catholic-Jewish studies, Catholic theological union, Chicago.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse, Chair, Australian bishops Commission for ecumenism and inter-religious relations.

Dr. Zeki saritoprak, Director, said nursi Chair in islamic studies at John Carroll university, Ohio.

Dr. Deborah Weissman, President, international Council of Christians and Jews; based in Jerusalem.


Speakers from Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Communities.

Paper Presentations

About 50 other scholars will be presenting papers in concurrent sessions on the following themes: Christian Approaches to World religions; Christian and Islamic Mysticism; Dialogue and truth Claims; Sacredness and transcendence; Dialogue at the Margins; Jewish- Christian Dialogue; Interfaith Marriages; Bible-Qur’an Dialogue; Tradition and Morality; Morality in buddhism and hinduism; Spiritual Perfection in Christianity and buddhism; Qur’anic Methodology and Comparative religion; East-West idealism; Dialogue and Prophetic Peacebuilding; Prophet Muhammad and Conflict resolution; Death and rebirth in Christianity and buddhism; Raimon Panikkar’s theory and Praxis of Dialogue; Theology of Dialogue in Nigeria; Dialogue and Meditative Disciplines; Religious influence on Psychology; The Gülen Hizmet Movement; The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict; Ethics of hospitality; Harmony of Faiths; Diversity and Peace; Religious and secular Fundamentalisms; Dialogue and Postmodernism; Dialogue in Postcolonial Pluri-religious Asia; Dialogue in the Arab World; Muslims in Europe.

International Participants

We are expecting paper presenters to come from about 20 countries including those in Europe and North America, as well as countries such as Nigeria, Oman, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, S. Korea, Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand and New Zealand.

Local Participation

We invite you to consider participating in this conference as an active member of the audience. the opening Ceremony (which includes an indigenous Australian smoking Ceremony) and the first Plenary session (on Vatican II and Christian-Muslim Dialogue) are free. These public events are on Monday 26 May from 4:00 – 7:00 pm. registration by email to is essential. Please refer to the website interfaithconference for the complete schedule.

Professional Development

Teachers, community organisers and other professionals wishing to participate in this conference as a Professional Development opportunity should register for the conference in full. upon completion of some basic requirements they will receive a certificate of participation. inquire from


online registration can be done through the www. website. Fee includes conference materials, access to all sessions, tea-breaks & receptions.

AuD$ 240 – regular registration
AuD$ 120 – students, unwaged, Ais/ACu members

Conference hosts

ACU-CID is hosting this conference in collaboration with the Australian Intercultural Society (AIS). ACU-CID is located within the Faculty of theology and Philosophy at Australian Catholic university. AIS was founded by a group of second-generation Muslim professionals from the Melbourne metropolitan area.

Conference Sponsors

This conference is partly sponsored by The Ian Potter Foundation and the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

Steering Committee

Dr. Edmund Chia (chair)
Mr. Fatih Erol Tuncer
Prof. Ismail Albayrak
Dr. John D’Arcy May
Rabbi Fred Morgan
Dr. Jonathan Tan
Prof. Anne Hunt (Executive Dean)

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