UNESCO Chair in Comparative Religious Studies, Mediation and Dialogue
Promote interfaith understanding through the study of comparative religion, and the transmission of specific intercultural skills such as mediation and dialogue.
The UNESCO Chair in Comparative Religious Studies, Mediation and Dialogue was established in 2002 at the Saint-Joseph University, Lebanon.
This social program was coordinated by the Chair as the main theme of tolerance and acceptance of difference. Several youth teams in Belgium, Egypt, Lebanon and Portugal were given the task to think about 11 stories around physical, racial and religious differences, illiteracy and reintegration after incarceration. The UNESCO Chair of Comparative Religious Studies, Mediation and Dialogue created the project "Together". Aimed at a young audience, this project is to overcome differences and disputes and builds on them in order to live "Together". It brings together partner institutions from four countries of the Euro-Mediterranean area (El Nahda Association for Scientific and Cultural Renaissance, Cairo, Egypt. University of Namur, Namur, Belgium. University of Porto, Portugal. Saint-Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon). Youth groups between 17 and 23 years affiliated to the partner institutions worked together and created several film scripts. One of the scripts dealt with the general conditions of encounters with the other (faith) and "living together" in Cairo
- Border Crossing (Territories, Communities, Attitudes)
This Franco-Lebanese research project started in 2006. It focuses on the interactions between identity, diversity and mobility – in particular, the border between faith groups. The research group is currently completing fieldwork in Lebanon by conducting interviews with residents of Palestinian origin, Armenian, Iraqi, Syrian and Egyptian
- Research and Teaching about Monotheism
Under the heading of “Comparative Study of Religions”, the Chair develops round tables, conferences and workshops. In times of violent conflict between Israel and the Arab countries, the Chair is focusing on comparing monotheistic religions. It is convinced that human experience is enriched by the knowledge of the religion of the other, in the hope that one day the road to peace cross those shared traditions. Therefore, a professor of history of religions gave lectures in January 2004 - an introduction to the Talmud in a comparative perspective. Furthermore, the Chair, in partnership with the L'Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, offered a training seminar on the topic “Multidisciplinary Study of Religious Facts in a Multi-Faith Society” in Lyon and Beirut.
Main Focus Countries of Activities
Belgium - Egypt - Lebanon - Portugal - France - Lebanon - Beirut, Lebanon - Lyon, France