Invitation for Peace in an Age of Ambiguity
The Peace that Will Not Come:
An Invitation for Peace in an Age of Ambiguity
An International Conference of Lasallian Colleges and Universities Bethlehem 2010
IALU. The idea for this conference is the fruit of the 2009 International Lasallian University Leadership Program held in Rome in June 2009. Over the course of two weeks, the group—consisting of delegates from Lasallian colleges and universities from seven countries and four continents—participated in an intensive series of workshops and listened to presentations on the Lasallian tradition and mission. Important to this mission is the injunction to take significant action to achieve social justice and to instill hope in those for whom peace and justice are longing. Inspired by the content of the Lasallian leadership program, the authors of this proposal seek to demonstrate their commitment to the Lasallian ideals of enduring peace and social justice. In light of the global demand for peace and justice, we believe that indifference is not an option, and that taking a stand for peace and justice is a necessary consequence of Lasallian leadership. Of course, what peace and justice mean may vary from region to region, from context to context, and where there is conflict there is always ambiguity. Nonetheless, no progress for peace and justice will be achieved without open and informed dialogue, and it is in view of that open conversation that we draft this conference proposal.
The specific kernel for this idea is the outcome of workshops designed to stimulate planning for intra-university and inter-university projects and partnerships informed by the shared Lasallian vision in all of our institutions. Briefly, we desire to host a meeting that will reflect the contributions of Lasallian educators on peace and justice in an age of ambiguity. We believe that the spirit of this conference will be especially enhanced by its location at the literal birthplace of Christianity, a location which is also "ground zero" for inter-religious conflict and the hope needed to overcome it. We wish to share with each other and the world the contribution and promise of the Lasallian tradition for peace and reconciliation, a tradition which we believe is at heart ethical, pluralistic, and hopeful.
1. To bring together Lasallian educators from all disciplines to in an open and constructive international dialogue on the meaning, possibility, promise, and necessity of peace.
2. To strengthen relations among IALU members
3. To bring together students from Lasallian universities for discussion on the future of peace based on the Lasallian tradition.
4. To assess and promote collaborative activities among member institutions.
5. To draft a declaration of global peace (to be signed by all Lasallian university and college presidents) following the conference in Bethlehem ("La Salle Bethlehem Peace Document 2010").
The conference will be designed to provide adequate space and time for all those who want to participate. In all of this we want harmony and association to produce a high-quality outcome of this important work on peace. In practice, the conference will meet this intention through a combination of traditional and online conference formats:
- On-site conference at Bethlehem University (target date the first week of October 2010).
- Presenters to be selected by review of abstracts by the end of December 2009.
- On-site schedule will include video presentations from Lasallian colleagues addressing the conference from their home institutions.
Collaboration in drafting the peace declaration will also take place as part of the preparation for the conference. We envision an open process by which collaborators from around the world will be given ample opportunity to draft, edit, and endorse a final document.
Call for Papers (tentative)
We invite proposals on any topic that reflects or explores the Lasallian tradition (broadly conceived) in the pursuit of peace. The general hope of the conference organizers is that this conference will continue to develop international and interdisciplinary cooperation between Lasallian schools while addressing the urgent necessity of sustained peace throughout the world.
- Proposals may be for individual papers or panel sessions on a specific topic or theme.
- We also invite the submission of musical compositions, theatrical performances, and art exhibits that address the conference theme.
Ethics of peace / peace and ecology / religion and the possibility of peace / women and peace / agriculture and peace / race and peace / anthropology and peace / dialogue across difference / conflict resolution / Lasallian tradition on peace / theologies of religious pluralism / comparative theology / inter-religious dialogue / architecture and peace / philosophy/theology of place / peace advocacy in the classroom / sexuality and peace.
Conference date: October 2010
Proposal for Philadelphia meeting of
Lasallian University presidents June 2009
Recruitment of planning committee* (concluded by) July 31, 2009
CFP August-October 2009
Deadline for Abstracts/Panel Proposals October 2009
Decision on presenters/panelists Dec. 2009-Jan. 2010
* A planning committee consisting of representatives from Bethlehem University and international members is essential for the success of this conference. The authors of this proposal recognize that the committee may wish to revisit any aspect of this document. Our hope is that by providing this preliminary vision statement for the Bethlehem peace conference, we will begin to persuade the Lasallian university network that such a conference is not only possible but a reality waiting to be born.