About RVP Regional Network Publications Annual Seminars International Conferences Board Members Associate Membership Newsletters Support Contact
International Conferences 2014

 Invitation to an International Conference

The Role of Religion in Reducing Violence in

Human Relationships

October 18-19, 2014                                        Teheran/Qom, Iran




Shahid Beheshti University




It is both the glory and the conundrum of persons that they can achieve their proper fullness only by transcending or going beyond their humanity. They are destined to a life they can neither fully comprehend or precisely control. The result is a need for philosophy, notably metaphysics, in order to help guide one's steps.


On the one hand, it is necessary to avoid the idolatry of an egoism that absolutizes oneself and instrumentalizes the other to the destruction of both. On the other hand, one is drawn ever forward and upward to realize the human potential of a spirit incarnate in matter, yet which knows no bounds.


The key to both is the transcendence unique to humans which both constitutes and challenges their glory. Poorly conceived this can base attacks on others and religious wars. Yet correctly applied it constitutes the call for self-sacrifice for others and the appeal of peace.


Two currents are especially relevant here. One relates to the Nazi experience and the holocaust. After World War II this generated a focused attack, especially among French philosophers, against any sense of 'absolute' and hence of 'transcendence'. This reduced all to the relative, the reductively human and the secular. This is an essential ingredient of the post moderns and of contemporary philosophy.


The other current is the spectacle of the contemporary turmoil across the various regions of the globe. This tends to reinforce the first current leading to the sense that any sense of transcendence is destructive of life in these times. Here one is led to the central issue of culture and its phases: a sense of transcendence was needed in an earliest rural phase of life; it was supplanted by the rule of law immanent to human society in its modern urban configuration. What then of the present situation where the media so individualizes the context of meaning that it supplants the social forces of religious institutions on the religious/transcendent level, as well as of social structures such as labor unions and political parties on the properly human level.


Whether religion is essentially the cause of peace and/or of violence is the main burden of this seminar. Through human history religion has been the essential key to the salvation of humanity, yet if poorly done or not attended to in a secular age leads to human stagnation and indeed to violence.



Modernity and modern types of violence

Religion and Inner peace

Abrahamic faith and the idea of pacifism Peaceful and violent reading of Religious Texts Successful peaceful Religious Leaders: Cases and Examples Family and education of peace Theological Treatment of Violence Religious extremism, the origins and excuses Religion, meaningfulness of Life and peace, Nihilism and Violence



Janet Blake

Shahid Beheshti University

Tehran, Iran








(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: 202/319-6089; Email: cua-rvp@cua.edu; Website: www.crvp.org