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Conference: Love in the Religions of the World
Date: 23-26 October 2009 


Date: October 23-26, 2009
Location: Council Chamber, Room 809, Meng Wah Complex, HKU Campus

The aim of this conference is to generate discussion about the role of love and the ways it is inflected throughout the faiths and religious practices of the world.

Inter-faith dialogue has taken on an increasingly important role in today’s world. And one of the astonishing things about social theory in the last ten years or so years is the way in which religion has come to play such an important role in our understanding of how the world is made. The self assuredness of the hegemonic right of secularist modernist values has all but vanished. This has been accompanied by a growing appreciation of religion as not simply an extra dimension of cultural life, but as a key to the very heart of what peoples valorize.
Generally inter-faith dialogue has been about building bridges and discovering commonalities.  In a world threatened by the potentially explosive nature of the differences in how people take their most important orientation through life, and thus how they want to build their future, this is understandable. But it is equally important that we attend to what aspects of faith separate peoples.

The conference will provide an intense opportunity to discuss the role of love in the different major faiths of the world. We are particularly interested in the question whether different faiths accentuate different aspects of love, and why and how they do so. Moreover, while it is true that the commandment to love is at the centre of the Jewish and Christian faiths, it is somewhat more questionable whether love is held not only in the same way, but even with the same esteem by all faiths. Paper givers are thus encouraged to write their paper from a comparative perspective, thereby bringing out how and where they see the weaknesses and strengths of other faiths in light of the particular faith or practice that is at the centre of their study. Further they are asked to undertake this comparative analysis by making  love – in whatever aspect, and either positively or negatively – the primary value to be addressed in their paper. 

This conference is being put together by the School of Modern Languages at the University of Hong Kong, a secular institution, and Australian Theological Forum, a Christian ecumenical publisher. It will result in a volume and it is a condition of all conference attendees that they attend all sessions and agree to submit their paper as a chapter in a forthcoming volume to be published in Studies in Philosophical Theology by Australian Theological Forum.

program schedule

If you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact Dr. Cristaudo at or Ms Christy Ho at

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