Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

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Media Contacts:
Annie Hughes
Communications Associate
312.915.6324

Peter J. Schraeder
Conference Coordinator
773.508.3070

Loyola University Chicago’s Rome Center Organizes its First International Conference
Two-Day Conference Focuses on Catholic and Islamic Inter-Religious Dialogue
On the Rule of Law and International Democracy Promotion

CHICAGO, February 18, 2008 – On April 2-3, 2008, Loyola University Chicago’s John Felice Rome Center (JFRC) will be organizing its first international conference, “The Cross, the Crescent, and the Ballot Box: Catholic and Islamic Dialogue on the Rule of Law and International Democracy Promotion.” Open and free to the public, the conference will promote scholarly, interdisciplinary, and inter-religious dialogue between two of the world’s most prominent religions, Catholicism and Islam.

The conference will feature participation and discussions by renowned international scholars, representatives of the Catholic and Islamic faiths, members of Loyola’s faculty from Chicago and Rome, and members of various Rome-based groups, including the diplomatic community, non-governmental organizations, and inter-governmental organizations. It will be held in the Centro Studi Americani (Center for American Studies), which is housed in the historic Antici Mattei Palace, in the heart of Rome.

Lively panel discussions will be a large focus of the conference, including one on theological perspectives that will include dialogue between Tariq Said Ramadan, renowned professor of Islam at St. Anthony’s College at the University of Oxford, and Father John P. Langan, S.J., Cardinal Bernardin Chair of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University.

In addition, the conference will welcome prominent keynote speakers, including Professor Saad Eddin Ibrahim, founder and chair of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies at the American University of Cairo (Egypt), and one of the Arab world’s best known spokespersons on behalf of democracy and human rights, and Penda Mbow, professor of history at Cheikh Anta Diop University (Senegal), and one of the leading voices for the rights of women in Islamic societies.

“Policymakers and academics talk extensively about the need to strengthen the rule of law and democracy abroad,” explains Peter J. Schraeder, professor in the Department of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago and conference coordinator. “However, this is the first serious international conference to bring together world-renowned Catholics and Muslims to examine the neglected role of religion in such undertakings.”

All presentations will be in English. However, the conference will provide an on-site translation service with simultaneous translation (English to Italian) for non-English speakers.

For further information, including a full list of participants and schedule of activities, please visit LUC.edu/jfrc.

About The John Felice Rome Center
The second largest study abroad program in Italy, the John Felice Rome Center offers an American undergraduate college experience in the heart of Western Europe. Students choose from more than 40 academic courses each semester and live together to form a tight-knit community in one of Europe’s largest and most captivating capital cities with considerable cultural and religious importance for more than 2,000 years. The Rome Center, an actual campus and academic center of Loyola University Chicago, is fully accredited and credits earned are easily transferable to other American universities. Visit our Web site at LUC.edu/romecenter for more information.

About Loyola University Chicago
Committed to preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, Loyola University Chicago was founded in 1870 and is the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic University. Loyola has a total enrollment of more than 15,500 students, which includes nearly 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 foreign countries. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy. Loyola also serves as the U.S. host university to the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies in Beijing, China. Loyola’s ten schools and colleges include arts and sciences, business administration, communication, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, continuing and professional studies, and social work. Loyola offers 71 undergraduate majors, 71 undergraduate minors, 85 master’s degrees, and 31 doctoral degrees. Recognizing Loyola’s excellence in education, U.S.News & World Report has ranked Loyola consistently among the “top national universities,” and named the University a “best value” in its 2008 rankings. For more information, please visit our Web site at LUC.edu.

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