“Transformation of the Society through Interfaith Dialogue”

(2019 - UN International Year of Moderation)
Date: December 4, 2019
Venue: Tirana, Hotel Rogner (Antigonea I)

University College Bedër
Catholic University “Our Lady of Good Counsel”
University College Logos
Embassy of Austria

There is a general conscience that Albanians boast of the tradition of religious tolerance. It is believed that it is a national characteristic, in the sense that most people think it dates back to the time that is not remembered. Common explanations for religious tolerance are the suggestions that Albanians value the nation over any religious conviction or claim that Albanians have always been indifferent to the issues of religion. These explanations are part of doxa-s (belief or popular opinion) as it uses Pierre Bourdieu this term because Albania has a long history of religious tolerance. From one long-term perspective, over the last 200 years, religious tolerance is positioned in an environment complicated cultural and political, formed, among other things, by the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the birth of Albanian nationalism, the creation of the Albanian secular state, changes and displacements brought about by the processes of modernization, the imposition of isolation and atheism by the communist regime.

So, given the religious diversity in Albania, the focus of the conference will be the maintenance of social cohesion, tolerance and religious harmony, even in turbulent times, which is recorded in Albanian society. Following this tremendous achievement, a question arises whether the visible religious tolerance in Albania will continue to flourish in a world globalized, which is characterized by increased exchanges and interactions between religions, increasing diversity cultural and new challenges created by religious fundamentalism and terrorism. Another aim of the conference is to examine whether religious tolerance is an Albanian feature or a social and cultural model that can "exported" to other national and cultural contexts. So, our expectation is to provide a place for human and social scientists to express their opinion if this “religious tolerance and coexistence” in Albania is a real fact or a civic myth that cultivated inside the Albanian nation and also to propose how this “Albanian model” of religious tolerance could be an example for other multi-cultural societies.