Dialogue as the path, cooperation as the code, understanding as the method.
It is hard to exaggerate the legacy of the meeting between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Malik Al-Kamil in 1219, a historical encounter that took place in the midst of the Fifth Crusade. This event is still remembered as a landmark of religion’s transformative power despite differences even during the most unwelcoming moments. On 3-5 February 2019, His Holiness Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmad Al-Tayyeb signed “A Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” in the United Arabic Emirates to mark the 800th anniversary of the iconic meeting.
The Human Fraternity Document, rather than being a symbolic commemorative text, draws inspiration from the past for concrete future action. It is realistic in admitting the challenges humanity faces today, straightforward in highlighting the vital role of religion while addressing them, inclusive in recognizing the role that various stakeholders can play in the solution, and interdisciplinary in inviting many forms of human expertise to the universal endeavor. In an act of due recognition of this initiative by the global community, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on December 15 2020 (A/75/L.52) that proclaims February 4 as the “International Day of Human Fraternity”, to be observed each year beginning in 2021.
The eminent signatories of the Human Fraternity “ask that this Document become the object of research and reflection in all schools, universities and institutes of formation”. Rumi Forum welcomes this call by hosting the panel “In the Name of Human Fraternity” on the first International Day of Human Fraternity. Join us for a spectrum of reflections by a panel of prominent Catholic and Muslim speakers and an interactive session that will follow. The panel aims to observe the first International Day of Human Fraternity by highlighting the operational vision of the Human Fraternity Document rather than being a ceremonial text of goodwill.
Dr. Pim Valkenberg, Catholic University of America
The Document on Human Fraternity and Pope Francis: Initiatives toward Encounters of Friendship
Dr. Zeki Saritoprak, John Carroll University
On the Necessity of Human Fraternity: Theological and Practical Reflections
Genevieve Mougey, Director of the Office for Social Concerns, Archdiocese of Washington
The Work of Social Friendship, Dialogue, and Pastoral Applications: A Catholic Perspective on Interfaith Dialogue