September 23rd and 24th, 2006
Myer Horowitz Theatre, University of Alberta
The traditionalist journal, Sacred Web held its inaugural conference on the theme of Tradition and Modernity at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on September 23rd and 24th, 2006. The Conference was attended by approximately 420 people from across North America, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East.
The Conference commenced with a presentation of sacred music from the Hindu and Muslim traditions, combining the bansuri (the flute associated with Lord Krishna) and the ney (the reed flute associated with the Mevlevi Sufis), in a musical dialogue accompanied by the sarangi. The presentation, titled “Jugalbandi: A Dialogue between Traditions”, was performed by Vinod Bhardwaj, bansuri, Michael Frishkopf, ney, and Regula Burckhardt Qureshi, sarangi.
This was followed by Introductory Remarks by the Conference Convener, M. Ali Lakhani.
The theme of the Conference was introduced by HRH The Prince of Wales in a 16-minute long, specially-videotaped address for the Conference. The video and text of the address are found here: Prince Charles' speech and Prince Charles' video
A list of the presenters and topics that they presented at the Conference is as follows:
PROFESSOR SEYYED HOSSEIN NASR, University Professor of Islamic Studies, George Washington University
PROFESSOR WILLIAM C. CHITTICK, Professor of Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at the State University of New York, Stony Brook
PROFESSOR JAMES S. CUTSINGER, Professor of Theology and Religious Thought at the University of South Carolina
DR. MICHAEL OREN FITZGERALD, an adopted son of the late Thomas Yellowtail and an authority on native American Indian traditions of the Crow, Sioux, Cheyenne, Shoshone, Bannock and Apache tribes
DR. JEAN-LOUIS MICHON, a traditionalist French scholar who specializes in Islam in North Africa, Islamic Art, and Sufism
PROFESSOR HARRY OLDMEADOW, Coordinator of Philosophy and Religious Studies at La Trobe University, Bendigo
DR. REZA SHAH-KAZEMI, Research Associate at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, England
PROFESSOR HUSTON SMITH, Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, Syracuse University, and Visiting Professor of Religious Studies, University of California, Berkeley
The Conference also included shorter presentations, as part of a Forum titled “The Future of Tradition”, from the following presenters, all former students of Dr. Nasr:
PROFESSOR WALEED EL-ANSARY, Consultant to the Grand Mufti of Egypt, and Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, offered an outline of a critique of capitalist economics.
RPOFESSOR CANER DAGLI, Advisor for Interfaith Affairs to the King of Jordan, offered an outline of the changing forms of power and the traditionalist response.
PROFESSOR DAVID DAKAKE, Adjunct Professor in the Religious Studies Department of George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, specializing in Comparative Religion and Islamic Philosophy, outlined Muslim and Christian theological interpretations of the Crucifixion and offered a metaphysical basis for the reconciliation of these views.
PROFESSOR MARIA MASSI DAKAKE, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, specializing in Islam and Women in Religion, spoke about the story of Hagar and contrasted modern feminist interpretations of the story with traditional interpretations.
PROFESSOR JOSEPH LUMBARD, Professor of Islamic Studies at Brandeis University and a former Advisor for Interfaith Affairs to the King of Jordan, outlined Muslim and Christian theological interpretations of the Sonship of Christ and his Resurrection and offered a metaphysical basis for the reconciliation of these views.