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A Common Word Between Us and You

A Global Agenda for Change

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In October 2009, Georgetown University’s Office of the President and Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, together with the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought of Jordan, hosted A Common Word Between Us and You: A Global Agenda for Change, a two-day conference focused on the message of The Common Word Initiative.

A Common Word Between Us and You: A Global Agenda for Change underscored Georgetown’s dedication to advancing peace and reconciliation between Muslim and Western societies by bringing together global political and religious leaders, scholars, members of the media, and community representatives to address our most pressing issues. Georgetown University has a long history of global engagement and a strong commitment to interreligious dialogue, and this meeting highlighted Georgetown’s mission to promote intellectual and spiritual understanding through serious and sustained discourse among people of different faiths, cultures, and beliefs.

This was the fourth conference of the Common Word initiative. Past conferences have been held at Yale University, the University of Cambridge, and the Vatican. Georgetown hosted A Common Word Between Us and You: A Global Agenda for Change on its main campus in Washington, D.C. 

Learn more about the conference agenda and read related news stories and archive speeches below.

View archive webcasts here.

For more information on past conferences, visit our Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and our Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.


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A Common Word Between Us and You: Schedule & Panels, 2009

Wednesday, October 7
9:30   a.m.   Welcome and Opening (Gaston Hall)

10:00 a.m.   Global Leaders Forum (Gaston Hall)
Muslim-Christian Relations in a 21st Century World

Moderator:    Riz Khan
The Right Honourable Tony Blair
His Excellency Kjell Magne Bondevik
John L. Esposito, Ph.D.
Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim
His Excellency Sheikh Mustafa Efendi Cerić

Thursday, October 8

9:30   a.m.     Welcome (Gaston Hall)

10:00 a.m.     Religious Pluralism in the 21st Century

What are the sources and limits of pluralism in Islam and Christianity? How do these mpact Muslim-Christian relations? How do we bring the two communities together to fight prejudices, to counter Islamophobia and the demonization of Christians? What are good practices?

Moderator:   Sarah Joseph
Ingrid Mattson, Ph.D.
The Reverend Joel C. Hunter
Bishop Munib Younan
The Reverend Thomas F. Michel, S.J., Ph.D.

1:30   p.m.     Religion, Violence and Peace-Building
 If religion has been part of the problem, it stands to reason that it must be part of the solution. How do we better understand both religion and violence, and religion and peacebuilding? What are the major issues and best practices in counteracting  religious extremism?  How can religious authorities and community leaders de-legitimize extremism and acts of violence and terrorism?
Moderator:   John Voll, Ph.D.
His Excellency Sheikh Mahmood A. Madani
His Beatitude Patriarch Theofilos III
The Reverend J. Bryan Hehir
His Excellency Sheikh Ali Gomaa
His Excellency Sheikh Mustafa Efendi Cerić
Heba Raouf, Ph.D.
The Rt. Rev. & Hon. Richard Chartes, D.D., F.S.A.

3:50   p.m.     Award Presentation, Association of Muslim Social Scientists
AMSS UK Lifetime Achievement Award and Building Bridges Award

Recipients:    John Esposito, Ph.D. and Charles E. Butterworth, Ph.D.
Presenters:   Ibrahim Kalin, Ph.D. and Sheikh Amr Khaled

4:00   p.m.     The Role of International NGOs in a Pluralistic World

How are traditional theological foundations for love of neighbor interpreted and applied in response to neighbors in today’s global community? In what ways has this understanding informed Muslim-Christian relations in the work of major international NGOs?

Moderator:   Abdallah Schleifer
Sheikh Amr Khaled
Ken Hackett
Shamil Idriss
David Robinson

6:00  p.m.      Open Session 4 - Wrap-Up Discussion: Where Do We Go from Here?   
Summary of the key take-aways from the previous five panels, relating to the purpose of the conference and expected outcomes.  What are leaders' reactions? What will we do to promote and implement the ideas presented or initiatives discussed?

Moderators:   John Esposito, Ph.D. & Ibrahim Kalin, Ph.D.

7:15   p.m.     Closing 

Related News

The Right Honourable Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, will speak as part of The Common Word conference at Georgetown University - October 7, 2009.

Story and Interview with Dr. John Esposito, Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.

Story about the Reverend Daniel Madigan, S.J., a priest of the Society of Jesus, who is an expert in the field of Islam and interreligious dialogue.

Archive Remarks

Opening Welcome - Remarks by President John J. DeGioia, October 7, 2009

Remarks by The Right Honourable Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, October 7, 2009

Remarks prepared for delivery by H.R.H. Prince Ghazi of Jordon, October 7, 2009

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