Countering Fundamentalism: Perspectives from Buddhism and Other Religions

Jointly organised by the Buddhist College of Singapore (BCS) and the Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies Programme (SRP)

 

Religious Fundamentalism is not new. It is not a 20th century phenomenon, but has arguably been present in some form for centuries. Neither is fundamentalism limited to a specific religion. The difference in the 21st century is the pervasive availability of media and technology to spread extremist interpretations and ideologies directly to vulnerable groups. However, the question lies in this: What is fundamentalism, and how to counter it?

Join the Buddhist College of Singapore (BCS) and the Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies Programme (SRP) of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (Nanyang Technological University) in a discussion to examine what can be done to counter such fundamentalism from various perspectives of different mainstream religions.

Objectives:

  • To deliver knowledge and understanding about fundamentalism and inter-religious perspectives;
  • To discuss how fundamentalist religiosity in the region and globally may affect Singapore;
  • To help understand what fundamentalism is and how it may be countered; and
  • To discuss fundamentalist trajectories and ways to counter fundamentalism in 4 religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam.

Programme outline:

 

09:00 am
Introduction: Overview
  • Opening remarks
  • Ambassador Mohammad Alami Musa, Head of SRP Programme: Introduction to SRP and objectives of the day

 

09:05 am
Keynote address: What is fundamentalism?

by Prof Abdullah Saeed

  • What is the nature of fundamentalism across religion and society? What does it mean?
  • How is it conceptualised and how do we identify it?
  • What ways are there to resist fundamentalist teachings?

 

09:35 am
Countering fundamentalism in Christianity

by Dr Paul Hedges

 

10:05 am
Countering fundamentalism in Islam

by Dr Mohamed Bin Ali

 

10:35 am
Tea break

 

11:00 am
Countering fundamentalism in Hinduism

by Mr S Ravenderan

 

11:30 am
Countering fundamentalism in Buddhism

by Dr Lee Foong Ming

 

12:00 pm
Panel discussion

with Dr Paul Hedges, Dr Mohamed Bin Ali, Mr S Ravenderan and Dr Lee Foong Ming

 

01:00 pm
Presentation of certificates to registered participants

 

Speakers

Meet Our Speakers

Professor Abdullah Saeed
Professor Abdullah Saeed

Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies, and the Director of the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia

In addition to his appointments as the Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies, and the Director of the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia, Professor Abdullah Saeed holds the Peter Lim Professorship in Peace Studies at the Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies (SRP) Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. Professor Abdullah’s area of research revolves around Islamic thought which includes negotiation of text and context, ijtihad (independent reasoning) and interpretation. He is also a strong advocate of reform in Islamic thought. Professor Abdullah authored and edited numerous publications including Reading the Quran in the Twenty-First Century (2014); Family Law and Australian Muslim Women (co-edited, 2013); Islam and Human Rights (edited, 2012); and Islamic Political Thought and Governance (edited, 2011).

Dr Paul Hedges
Dr Paul Hedges

Associate Professor of Inter-Religious Studies at the SRP Programme

Dr Paul Hedges has previously lectured at, or worked for, other universities in Asia, Europe, and North America. Recent books include Comparative Theology: Critical and Methodological Perspectives (2017), Towards Better Disagreement: Religion and Atheism in Dialogue (2017), Twenty-First Century Theologies of Religions (co-edited, 2016), and Contemporary Muslim-Christian Encounters (edited, 2015). He is currently working on a book exploring method and theory in the study of religion, provisionally entitled Understanding Religion: Method and Theory for Exploring Religiously Diverse Societies (due 2019). His current research and writing projects include theorising intercultural hermeneutics for inter-religious encounters, theory and method for the study of religion in the global and Asian context, and the inter-religious landscape of Singapore.

Mr S Ravenderan
Mr S Ravenderan

Former Vice President and current volunteer of the Hindu Centre, Singapore

Mr S Ravenderan studied Sanatana Dharma (commonly known as Hinduism) for more than three decades and has been teaching Hinduism for more than 10 years in various Indian and Hindu organisations. He is also a speaker and facilitator at Inter-Religious Organisations (IRO) inter-faith dialogues and contributed to articles on Hinduism in various Hindu Centre publications.

Dr Mohamed Bin Ali
Dr Mohamed Bin Ali

Assistant Professor at the SRP Programme, and member of the Syariah Appeal Board of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) and Khadijah Mosque Management Board

Dr Mohamed Bin Ali’s areas of research include Islamic Jurisprudence, Islamist ideology, religious extremism, inter-religious relations and rehabilitation of Muslim extremists. He had studied at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, RSIS, NTU, and the University of Exeter, United Kingdom. Since 2003, he has been involved in the rehabilitation programme of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) detainees in Singapore. He serves as both Vice-Chairman and counsellor with the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG). He is also a member of the Syariah Appeal Board of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) and a member of Khadijah Mosque Management Board.

Dr Lee Foong Ming
Dr Lee Foong Ming

Assistant Professor at Buddhist College of Singapore

Dr Lee Foong Ming graduated from the National University of Singapore in 1994 with a BA in Mass Communication and Chinese Studies. She began her postgraduate studies in Buddhism at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka in 1995 and obtained her PhD in 2003, specialising in Sarvastivada Abhidharma. She taught in various Buddhist organisations until she joined the Buddhist College of Singapore in 2013. She now teaches subjects in the history and philosophy of Indian Buddhism in the college.

Where It’s At

Buddhist College of Singapore
88 Bright Hill Road
Level 3 | Classrooms 4 and 5
Singapore 574117

 

This Seminar is Free!

Date: 17 November 2018 (Sat)  Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Phone registration at 6715 6909 | Mon to Fri | 9am – 4pm

 Registration Deadline ~ When fully registered 

Enquiry: johnsen@bcs.edu.sg / 6715 6909

 

Organisers

Jointly organised by the Buddhist College of Singapore (BCS) and the Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies Programme (SRP)