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Press Release


Emily M. Darrow
Participants will discuss altruism in Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese religious traditions, Christianity, Graeco-Roman paganism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Institute of Advanced Theology presents a three-day conference exploring “Altruism in World Religions” on November 16–18. Free and open to the public, the program will begin at 9:00 a.m. each day in the multipurpose room of the Bertelsmann Campus Center. The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love and the Templeton Foundation have provided support for this conference. Conceived by Jacob Neusner, Research Professor of Theology and senior fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College, and Bruce Chilton, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Philosophy and Religion and executive director of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College, the conference will explore the concept of altruism in Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese religious traditions, Christianity, Graeco-Roman paganism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. Two social science papers will examine concrete evidence of altruism in contemporary religious life. “Professor Chilton and I see altruism as a central trait of religious teachings in various world religions, and through the comparative study of religions we hope to clarify how, where, and why uncompensated concern for the other, even the outsider, forms a religious imperative,” explains Professor Neusner. “In an age of violence and terror in the name of religion, we choose to emphasize what is uncommon but much needed.” Participants include Alan J. Avery-Peck, Robert Berchman, Bradley Clough, Mark Csikszentmihalyi, Richard Davis, Adriana Destro, Carolyn Dewald, William Scott Green, Ruben L. F. Habito, Emil Homerin, Daniel Jorgensen, Todd Lewis, Nancy K. Morrison, Paul Murray, Mauro Pesce, Stephen G. Post, Nerina Rustomji, Sally Severino, and Kristin Scheible. For further information, call 845-758-7279 or e-mail # Conference Schedule: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 9:00 a.m.: Welcome: Michèle Dominy, Dean of the College 9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.: “Altruism and the Study of Religion: Preliminary Questions,” William Scott Green, University of Rochester World Religions on Altruism 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon: “Altruism in Classical Judaism,” Jacob Neusner, Bard College Commentator: Alan J. Avery-Peck, College of the Holy Cross 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: “Christianity,” Bruce Chilton, Bard College Commentators: Paul Murray, Bard College and Mauro Pesce, University of Bologna 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: “Graeco-Roman Paganism in Late Antiquity,” Robert Berchman, Dowling College Commentator: Carolyn Dewald, Bard College 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.: “Islam, in Its Classical Writings (Quran, Sunna, Hadith),” Emil Homerin, University of Rochester Commentator: Nerina Rustomji, Bard College 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.: “Buddhism,” Todd Lewis, Holy Cross College Commentator: Kristin Scheible, Bard College Wednesday, November 17, 2004 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.: “Altruism in Buddhism: Thich Nhat Hanh and Engaged Buddhism,” Bradley Clough, American University in Cairo Commentator: Kristin Scheible, Bard College 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon: “Hinduism,” Richard Davis, Bard College 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. “The Religious and Philosophical Traditions of China,” Mark Csikszentmihalyi, University of Wisconsin-Madison 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: “The Religious and Philosophical Traditions of Japan,” Ruben L. F. Habito, Southern Methodist University Thursday, November 18, 2004 Empirical Counterpoint 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.: “Religion and Empirical Study of Altruism,” Stephen G. Post, Case-Western Reserve University Commentators: Daniel Jorgensen, University of South Florida and Adriana Destro, University of Bologna 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon: “Attuning Consciousness: The Origins of Altruism,” Nancy K. Morrison and Sally Severino, University of New Mexico School of Medicine # # # (10/20/04)

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This event was last updated on 11-19-2004