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The Muis Lecture Series is an annual series. It features eminent statesmen, intellectual leaders, thinkers of international standing and prominent personalities, who delivers an address relating to Islam and its relationship with the modern world and its current realities. The series also focuses on new trends in Muslim thoughts and ideas in dealing with change and modernity in the context of changing global challenges of the 21th Century.
For its 12th Muis Lecture 2019, Muis is delighted to host, for the second time, the Founder for the Charter for Compassion Professor Karen Armstrong. She is a provocative and original thinker on the role of religion in the modern world. Prof Armstrong will be sharing her thoughts on the role of religion in shaping the future of humanity. This Muis Lecture serves to reinforce the ethos of the Singapore Muslim Identity (SMI) and advance the discourse from the International Conference of Singapore on the Future of Faith 2018. Prof Karen’s deep and original foresight that brought about the global co-creation of the “Charter of Compassion” will lend a strong global endorsement to MUIS’s key message that the positive contributions of religions are integral for social cohesion and human flourishing. The Lecture is entitled, Faith and the Future of Faith.
Day/Date: Friday, 21 June 2019
Venue: Grand Orchard Ballroom, Orchard Hotel, Singapore.
442 Orchard Road, Singapore 238879
Time: 6.30pm – 10.00pm*
Dress Code: Shirt and Tie
* Light dinner and prayer space are provided.
You register here. Please note that a confirmation email will be sent closer to date.
The highest objective of all faith traditions – regardless of era, place of origin or creed is the nurturing of responsible, ethical, compassionate and dignified human beings who are aware of their sacred origins and seek meaningful existence by developing societies of beauty, excellence and harmony. However, the same force is also perceived to be responsible for nurturing hatred and perpetuating violence. How can this seeming paradox be reconciled?
What roles do the world’s faith traditions have today in helping humanity overcome its current state of impasse – with the nexus of rising extremist expressions of identities, exacerbated by migration and populism (Nationalism, ISIS and White supremacy); a contestation of ideas marked by fear, skepticism and hatred (Brexit, Protectionism, Sectarianism, and Islamophobia); environmental challenges? Such an increasingly isolationist global world order impedes the strength of universal values, collaboration and human solidarity. Are religions able to have a positive and effective role in light of these challenges? In this lecture, Karen Armstrong will explore the above questions and will discuss what it will take for faith traditions to be able to rise up and help shape the future of a compassionate humanity.
Karen Armstrong is the author of numerous other books on religious affairs-including A History of God, The Battle for God, Holy War, Islam, Buddha, and The Great Transformation - and two memoirs, Through the Narrow Gate and The Spiral Staircase. Karen's latest book is Fields of Blood. Her work has been translated into forty-five languages. She has addressed members of the U.S. Congress on three occasions; lectured to policy makers at the U.S. State Department; participated in the World Economic Forum in New York, Jordan, and Davos; addressed the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington and New York; is increasingly invited to speak in Muslim countries; and is now an ambassador for the UN Alliance of Civilizations. In 2007, Armstrong was invited by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore to deliver the MUIS Lecture.
She has made considerable appearances on television, including appearances on Rageh Omaar's programme The Life of Muhammad. She was also an advisor for the award-winning, PBS-broadcast documentary Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet (2002), produced by Unity Productions Foundation.
Karen Armstrong was awarded the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal; and in 2009, she was awarded the TED Prize. With TED, she assembled the Charter for Compassion, a document around which religious leaders worked on together. In late fall 2008, the first draft of the document was written by the world, via a sharing website. In February 2009 the words of the world were collected and given to the Council of Conscience, a gathering of religious leaders and thinkers, who crafted the final document. The Charter was launched in November 2009 and it is now a global movement. From 2008- 2016, she was a Trustee of the British Museum; in 2013, she was awarded the inaugural British Academy Al-Rodhan Prize for Improving Intercultural Relations; and in 2017, she was awarded the Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences.
A trip to Jerusalem was the inspiration for virtually most of her work. Armstrong described this visit as a "breakthrough experience" that defied her prior assumptions. In A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (1993), she traces the evolution of the three major monotheistic traditions from their beginnings in the Middle East up to the present day and also discusses Hinduism and Buddhism.