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«Под общей редакцией: М. Абусеитовой, К. Исак, Л. Ерекешевой. Составители: Л. Ерекешева, А. Асадова. Составление резюме статей на англ. языке: А. Асадовой. Перевод с ...»

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The memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Two Rivers Interfaith Ministries were part of the celebration of Season for Nonviolence, which honors those who are using nonviolence to build a community that respects and uplifts the dignity and worth of every human being.

The Interfaith Prayer and Reflection Service at First Christian Church provides a special occasion to pray for peace, remember our loved ones, reflect upon the interconnectedness of all beings, and to uplift hearts and minds.

The Eugene Middle East Peace Group was founded by Israelis and Palestinians and seeks to model cross-cultural friendships while engaging in dialogue on current events.

Weisse Wolfram Centre for Religious Education and Interreligious Learning;

Professor, University of Hamburg (Germany) Professor Weisse’s presentation “Religion in Education. A Contribution to Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue or a Factor of Conflict in Europe? A Report on the Redco-Project”, gave an overview of the REDCo project along with three examples of their current activities. The REDCo project’s main aim is to establish and compare the potentials and limitations of religion in the educational systems of selected European countries (Germany, Norway, Netherlands, England/Wales, Spain, France, Russia, and Estonia) while focusing to develop an understanding in the field of religion and value systems that can serve as an orientation for personal development, but remain open for the development of a collective ‘European identity.’ The Project’s main theoretical background is the interpretive approach to the study of religious diversity. The term religious education covers academic teacher training as well as both philosophical and practical aspects of religious and value education at school. The subject of the study can be best understood in the context of citizenship education as religious education complements civic education and has the potential to incorporate European and global ideas of citizenship and helping children debate issues relevant to a plural society. Religious education in the form of inter-religious education has been shown to be able to contribute to intercultural understanding, tolerance and harmony.

The Project aims is to analyze challenges facing religious education in the context of the current change in European societies and its importance for dialogue and mutual understanding without disregarding potential problems. It is vital not only to further develop theoretical approaches, but also to look for possibilities towards a successful dialogue in the actual encounter situations occurring daily at schools throughout the European Union. The findings of REDCo will contribute to a better understanding of how religions and questions of religion and religiosity for children, young people and students can be anchored in the educational process so as to promote an appreciation of the value of difference and an understanding of the values held in common and develop mutual respect.

Professor Weisse highlighted three projects connected to the REDCo project:

1. Research project entitled “Between participation and exclusion. Muslim minorities and their Islamic schools in South Africa and Europe”, which is a comparative analysis of the political and legal status of Muslim minorities in South Africa and Europe.

The analysis will illustrate the insights that European states could gain from the South African experience of introducing extended minority rights.

2. Project “Trialogue of cultures” focuses on best practise examples in the field of intercultural and interreligious learning where schools are encouraged to start or foster projects, directed to a better understanding of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Initiatives at the grassroots-level are sponsored by the Herbert-Quandt-Stiftung Foundation, contributing to the strengthening of long-term activities in the field of inter-religious learning.

3. The “Centre World Religions in Dialogue” is a starting point for the envisioned establishment of an “Academy of World Religions” that will study Jewish and Islamic theology as well as in Buddology, in which the dialogue of world religions with regard to research and teachings will play a key role.

Onghena Yolanda Professor and Researcher, CIDOB Foundation, Spain; Coordinator, Intercultural Dynamics Program at Center of International Information and Documentation (Spain) Professor Onghena’s presentation “From Multiculturalism to Transculturalism?” introduced two themes based on two articles of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001).

These two themes were:

1) Ways of thinking about cultural diversity; and 2) Old ideas making new departures.

In the theme “Ways of thinking about cultural diversity” Professor Onghena focused on Article 1 - Cultural diversity: the common heritage of humanity, which reads “Diversity is embodied in the uniqueness and plurality of the identities of the groups and societies making up humankind”. She points out that living in cultural diversity, assuming it as ours, is not an easy task, but requires to re-think the subtle and complex relation between identity and difference. Identity has to do with what is the same and what is different, with what is personal and what is social, with what we have in common with other people and what differentiates us from others.

The dynamic of several forces interacting between them is the space where people situate and elaborate “their” identity as well as “their” difference. It is in this process that strategies rise, solidarities die, mentalities change and persons not cultures who interact; people with their memories, with their fears and their hopes. In order to reduce complexity of the identity project within global processes, more than ever, there is a need to categorize. But normally categorization is more inclined to prove than to assume differences. We propose to speak about “conversations”, equivalencies, familiarities and also about engagement and recognition as a possible horizon capable to supply “common denominators” which enable new codes of understanding.

While in the theme “Old ideas making new departures” Professor Onghena discussed Article 2 – From cultural diversity to cultural pluralism, which reads “In our increasingly diverse societies, it is essential to ensure harmonious interaction among people and groups with plural, varied and dynamic cultural identities as well as their willingness to live together.” History shows that in different places and under different circumstances several proposals arose on how to think about the interaction between cultures: transculturation in Cuba in 1930 (Fernando Ortiz), criolization in Martinique in the 1960s (Eduard Glissant,), and more recently hybridization (Nstor Garcia Canclini, Mexico), and hybridism (Nikos Papstergiadis, Australia).

Many new situations escape from the rigid and less flexible nature of the existing structures. Therefore, there is a need for a more global framework of reference, which should take into account change, mobility and innovation divergences. For some, the concept of culture should be replaced by “transience” and “mobility.” Others propose to look for “new landscapes for identity and memory” or ask for an increased sensibility towards the effects of interdependency.

Today, people need to re-think processes and effects of the cultural diversity, imagine a future, and organize desires, so that everyone are capable of negotiating his or her place in this world in a creative way.

Toktоsunova Аdash Editor in Chief, Scientific-Education Journal “Central Asia and culture of peace”; Lecturer, Diplomatic Academy at the MFA of Kyrgyzstan; Director, NGO “Conflict prevention center” (Kyrgyzstan) Ms. Toktosunova’s presentation “UNESCO’s Strategy in the Field of Cultural Diversity” gave theoretical and practical background of UNESCO’s role in the promotion of cultural diversity. The new role of UNESCO is closely connected to the “humanization of globalization” thesis, where globalization could lead to closer relationships and enrichment of cultures through interactions, but it also can challenge cultural diversity. In this context, UNESCO aims to humanize globalization, while focusing on the issues related to culture and spirituality, as they contribute to the value of comprehension and appreciation of life in its unity and interdependence.

UNESCO’s cultural policy is based on two key strategic challenges of globalization: cultural-physiological isolationism and cultural standardization (global culture). UNESCO’s theoretical and practical cultural policies have the following strategic goals: comprehensive preservation, enhancement, and promotion of cultural diversity, and creation of conditions for renewed dialogue among cultures and civilizations in order to promote synergy of action for sustainable development. One can trace the following focal points in UNESCO documents that highlight the competencies of the organization:

cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue, cultural heritage (tangible and intangible), preservation of cultural identity, and sustainable development.

Analysis of UNESCO’s activities on Cultural Diversity:

Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity opens the way for new forms of partnership between private and public organizations to support local cultural industries in developing countries. The alliance aims to develop new methods and strategies aimed at reducing trade imbalance in goods in the area of culture.

In 2001, the accelerating process of globalization has resulted in UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. This linking of ethical obligations for the first time recognizes the cultural diversity as a “common heritage of mankind.” In accordance with the Declaration, the UNESCO Member States reaffirmed their commitment to the development of cultural diversity and also rejected the position of the inevitable conflicts between cultures and civilizations.

In 2001, the UN General Assembly proclaimed the year 2002 as the Year of Cultural Heritage and asked UNESCO to be the coordinating organization for celebrations and conferences.

At the summit in Johannesburg in 2002, the UN adopted a Political Declaration where UNESCO was delegated powers to find and reflect strong linkages between culture and development.

In 2005, during the General Conference of UNESCO, the Member States adopted the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Diverse Cultural Expressions. The Convention provides favorable conditions for the preservation of cultural diversity, dialogue and international cooperation. Since the concept of “culture” covers not only the arts and literature, but also a way of life, values, traditions and beliefs, protection and promotion of the rich cultural diversity, UNESCO has a twofold mission: (i) to protect creativity through diversity tangible and intangible cultural expression and (ii) to ensure the harmonious unity and collaboration of individuals and groups from different cultures living in the same space.

Shahidi Munira Director, Z. Shahidi Museum of Musical Culture; Chairman, Z. Shahidi International Foundation for Culture (NGO); Chief Editor, journal “Fonus” (Tajikistan) In her presentation “UNESCO Declaration on Cultural Diversity:

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