Reforming Religious Discourse as a Way of Combating Terrorism

Sent On: 
Thu, 2018-06-21
Newsletter Number: 


The Anglican Diocese of Egypt is hosting with the Center for Arab-West Understanding a lecture by Archbishop George Carey about the subject “Reforming Religious Discourse as a Way of Combating Terrorism.”


Date: July 13, 2018, 7.00 pm


Location: St. John the Baptist Church, on the corner of Port Said Street and street 17 in Maadi. The Port Said Street is a very well-known street in Maadi and the church building is extremely easy to recognize.


The subject is of course extremely relevant. We see religious beliefs used to kill and terrorize people. Religious beliefs can be, unfortunately, used to justify violence and exclude others as unbelievers. Examples are plenty in the history of religion. Historian Peter Frankopan shows in his book The Silk Roads: A New History of the World (2015) how rulers since Alexander the Great have used religion for their own purposes. There is no difference between pre-Christian rulers, Christian rulers, Muslim rulers, or rulers adhering to whatever belief. They all have participated by larger or smaller degrees in the formation of religious beliefs of their subjects. Influences varied from explicit decrees, to funding religious scholars and religious education.


Influences also come from radical religious groups that believe that their governments have been too lenient in enforcing specific beliefs. Others believe that religion should spur resistance against colonialism, oppression, etc. It is among these religious opposition groups where one finds the most radical thoughts that justify the most abominable horrors if that fosters their cause. These, however, are the groups that are also almost immune to government influence. It seems that as long as injustices exist, numbers of people will remain attracted to such groups.  


Archbishop Carey is one of the most outspoken and influential theologians in the Anglican tradition. He was many years ago prominently involved in the dialogue between the worldwide Anglican communion and the Azhar. Many of the transcripts of previous speeches on Muslim-Christian relations can be found in the database of Arab-West Report.


We are very pleased that also Archbishop Mounir hopes to participate in this meeting. Please mark this event in your calendar. This is no doubt going to be a highly remarkable event.   


June 21, 2018

Cornelis Hulsman,

Editor-in-chief Arab-West Report