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A Conference on




April 25-26, 2005                                         Washington, D.C.  



Monday April 25, 2005


8:30 a.m.



9 a.m.

Welcome & Introductions


George F. McLean, director, The Center for the Study of Culture and Values, The Catholic University of America

Mehdi Faridzadeh, president, The International Society for Iranian Culture

Robert Destro, professor and director, The Interdisciplinary Program in Law and Religion, Columbus School of Law




John Convey, provost, The Catholic University of America

Ayatollah Mahmoud Mohammadi Araghi, president, Organization of Culture and Islamic Relations, Tehran


9:30 a.m.

Islamic Perspectives on Political Order


Moderator: Akbar Ahmed, professor and Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University


“Islamic Political Philosophy”

Seyyed Hossein Nasr, professor emeritus, George Washington University


Coffee break

“Current Challenges for Islam in Building a Healthy Society”

Ayatollah Araghi


12 p.m.

Iranian Luncheon


To attend the luncheon, please R.s.v.p. by April 21 to

Constantia Dedoulis: Phone: 202-319-6081 Fax: 202-319-4004; E-mail: dedoulis@law.edu


2 p.m.

The Question:

If God is Truly Lord of All, is There Room for Man?


Moderator: George F. McLean


“Totalisms and the Need for Pluralism”

William Galston, interim dean, Maryland School of Public Policy, Saul I Stern Professor of Civic Engagement, director, Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy


“Political Legitimacy and Human Freedom in Islam”

Ayatollah Amid Zanjani, professor of Islamic law, Tehran University


Coffee break


“Divine Will and Human Needs”

Hossein Mir Mohammad Sadeghi, professor of law, Shahid Beheste University



Tuesday, April 26, 2005


9 a.m.

The Response:

Implications of the Religious Foundation of the Person: Autonomy and Social Relatedness


Moderator: Marshall Breger, professor, Columbus School of Law


“Person in a Religious Horizon”

Kenneth L. Schmitz, professor emeritus, University of Toronto, visiting professor, The Catholic University of America and John Paul II Institute


Coffee break


Moderator: Ahmad Iravani, director, Islamic Studies and Dialogue, The Center for the Study of Culture and Values,

The Catholic University of America


“Islam, Personal Identity and Social Relatedness”

Reza Davari Ardakani, president, Academy of Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran, professor of philosophy, University of Tehran


2 p.m.

Distinction, Relation, Separation: The Proper Interface of Religion and the Political Order?


Moderator: Stephen Schneck, chair, department of politics, The Catholic University of America


“Ethics and Politics within the Context of Religion”

Gholam Reza Avani, president, Institute of Wisdom and Philosophy of Iran, professor of philosophy, Shahid Beheshti



Coffee Break


“Models for the Role of Religion in the Political Order”

William Barbieri, professor of theology, The Catholic University of America


“Religious Democracy? Some Proposals”

Fred R. Dallmayr, department of government and international studies, College of Arts and Letters, University of Notre



Tuesday,  April 26 Evening


Location: John Paul II Cultural Center

3900 Harewood Rd., N.E.

Washington, DC

Host: Msgr. William A. Kerr


7:30 p.m.

A Roundtable:

What is the Responsibility of the Faith Communities for the Role of Religion in the Public Order?


Moderator: Robert A. Destro


“The Negative Theological Logic of Monotheistic Doctrine”

Aryeh Botwinic, Temple University The Relation Between the Islamic Revolution and International



Mehdi Sanaie, deputy for research, Organization of Culture and Islamic Relations, Tehran


“Religion and Responsibility for Religion”

Joseph Donders, professor emeritus, Catholic Theological Union, Washington, DC



Archbishop Sebouth Sarkissian, Tehran


9 p.m.

Concluding Remarks


Ayatollah Araghi

George F. McLean

Mon., April 25



The Center for the Study of Culture and Values of The Catholic University of America promotes and

publishes studies on the application of cultural heritages to the processes of contemporary change and

global interchange by organizing national research teams in all regions of the world. Its series, “Cultural

Heritage and Contemporary Change,” includes 150 volumes, www.crvp.com. Conference co-chairs:

George F. McLean, director, and Ahmed Iravani, director of Islamic Studies and Dialogue.

The Interdisciplinary Program in Law & Religion,

Columbus School of Law of The Catholic University of America sponsors conferences, lectures, publications, student internships and opportunities for empirical and applied research in law and religion. Conference co-chairs: Robert A. Destro, director and professor of law, and Marshall J. Breger, professor of law.



The International Society for Iranian Culture is a cultural and educational society committed to augmenting common understanding of Iranian identity in the United States. Mehdi Faridzadeh, director.

The John Paul II Cultural Center exists to bring the wisdom and faith of the Catholic Church to the

human search for meaning and purpose in life, righteousness, justice and peace in the world with its varied

religious, ethnic and cultural communities. It carries on research in religion and the many cultures of

the world with special attention to the thought of John Paul II. William A. Kerr, director.

The Institute for Interreligious Study and Dialogue




A s the process of globalization forces the great civilizations inexorably to interact with each other, it becomes newly urgent to understand their foundations and their mutual compatibility. It is now generally recognized that each civilization is founded in a great religion and conversely that each great religion generates its own civilization. Nowhere is this more consciously and devotedly the case than for Islam. In contrast, political liberalism begins by removing religious and other cosmic or integrating visions behind “a veil of ignorance” as a condition for the development of the political order. Some even consider the aspirations of the freedom and autonomy of the human person to be challenged by the recognition of any transcendent order.

Today the seeming collision of these two visions—religious and secular—generates tremors which shake the world. It is most urgent therefore to examine both in depth and in detail the proper relation of religion to the political order, both within the Islamic world and in the broader pattern of global interchange.

The conference with leading Iranian scholars will attempt not only to identify the rich resources of Islamic culture, but especially to envisage creatively how these can be deployed in response to the emerging democratic aspirations of its peoples within, and to other political entities in the global context without.

After clarifying the issues in the opening day, the conference will proceed in three main steps to study: first, God as the basis of human dignity and the political order, second the relation of religion to the political order, and third the responsibilities of the faiths for the role being played by religion in the world today.  

The Catholic University of America is located at 620 Michigan Avenue, N.E., in Washington, D.C. It is accessible via the Brookland/CUA Red line Metrorail stop. For up-to-date information about this event,

please visit: http://law.cua.edu/Conference/IslamandPoliticalOrder.cfm



(all the materials on this website are copyrighted © by the council for research in values and philosophy)

Gibbons Hall B-12, 620 Michigan Avenue, North East,  Washington DC 20064; Telephone and fax: 202-319-6089; Email: cua-rvp@cua.edu; Website: www.crvp.org 

Last Revised 07-Sep-09 02:35 PM.

Last Revised 22-Sep-09 06:31 PM.