Augsburg News

News Archives - 2008

Panel explores relationship between Iran and the West

SEPTEMBER 19, 2008

Picture of Martha StortzAugsburg College will host a panel discussion entitled "With Respect to Iran and the West: An Interface of Politics and Religion" from 5-7 p.m. on Sept. 28 in Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center, exploring how the nuances of cultural and religious differences affect the political relationship between Iran and the West, with the premise that informed and respectful dialog can reduce international tensions.

The Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights was created in January of 2006 by former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik (pictured) to encourage dialogue around the intersection of peace and religious practice. In 2007, the Oslo Center formalized a partnership with the Foundation for Dialogue Among Civilizations, which is headed by former president of Iran, Mohammad Khatami, to build bridges of understanding between the "Islamic World" and the "West." The two organizations have jointly organized workshops in both Oslo and Tehran, focusing on fostering human rights, tolerance for diversity, and reducing religious extremism.

In addition to Bondevik, panelists include: The Right Reverend John Bryson Chane, Eighth Bishop of Washington; William Beeman, University of Minnesota professor of anthropology; and Imam Makram El-Amin, Masjid An-Nur Mosque.

Ambassador Walter Mondale will give welcoming remarks. The discussion will be moderated by Congressman Keith Ellison and closing thoughts will be given by Janet Dolan, Oslo Center U.S. Foundation.

A social hour with refreshments will be held before the discussion from 4-5 p.m. in the Arnold Atrium, Foss Center. The event is free and no preregistration necessary. The event is co-sponsored by Minnesota International Center, Oslo Center -- U.S. Foundation, Augsburg College, and the Vesper Society of San Francisco.