Interfaith and interdisciplinary colloquium organised by the Our Lady of Peace University Chair

On Friday 27 January 2023, the interfaith and interdisciplinary colloquium organized by the University Chair of Our Lady of Peace was held. Representatives of the three great monotheistic religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) and many scientists took the floor during the colloquium "Spiritualities in the 21st century: some insights" in order to share with more than 170 participants their point of view on the spiritual currents that animate our world.

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Nicolas Monseu, President of the Esphin Institute, was pleased with "the diversity of the religious currents represented and the presence of personalities who contribute to the interreligious dialogue that is essential today". Indeed, UNamur welcomed the Chief Rabbi of Belgium Albert Guigui and Sheikh Khaled Bentounes, Spiritual Guide of the Tariqa Alawiyya.

These were rich discussions, which also made it possible to address the way in which spiritualities respond to the major questions of society today: the place of women, digital culture, techno-scientific culture, etc. The speakers from different backgrounds and origins, philosophers, theologians, computer scientists, anthropologists, engineers, laymen and women, and religious, each contributed to shedding a different and complementary light on these themes.

The Rector Annick Castiaux underlined the importance of this colloquium for UNamur: "We are convinced that the topics discussed today are extremely important, also for the academic world. In a world where the answers to the challenges of our time are either technocratic or ideological, the question of meaning is often missing. No purely technical solution and no exclusively political or ideological discourse can reassure young people today about the future of our society. UNamur wishes to integrate the question of meaning and spirituality more into its teaching. With this in mind, UNamur joined the Universitate network, integrating a dimension of service and reflexivity into several courses. The Universitate network and the Our Lady of Peace Chair also highlight UNamur's link with the Society of Jesus. Several Jesuit experts also spoke on 27 January.

The second day of the colloquium was held at the Maredsous Abbey on 20 March 2023 in the framework of the centenary of the death of the abbot of Maredsous, Dom Columba Marmion, whose spirituality had nourished most of the participants of the Second Vatican Council.

Photo above: the organisers and speakers of the first session of the colloquium on 27 January. From left to right: Ferdinand Poswick (Maredsous Abbey and Nam-IP Museum), Laura Rizzerio (UNamur), Bernard Lorent (abbot of Maredsous), Khaled Bentounes (spiritual guide of the Tariqa Alawiyya), Annick Castiaux (Rector UNamur), Albert Guigui (Chief Rabbi of Belgium), Jacques Scheuer s. j. (UCLouvain), Françoise Mies (UNamur) and Dominique Lambert (UNamur).