The Possibility of Pluralism – Seminar held on 16 February 2007

The Possibility of Pluralism

Third Seminar

On October 6, 2006 AKU-ISMC held the third seminar in its series The Possibility of Pluralism. The Institute was pleased to welcome speakers, Mohammed Arkoun, Professor Emeritus at the Sorbonne University , Paris and Mr Christopher Hitchens, author, journalist and literary critic based in Washington, DC.

Seminar speakers: Christopher Hitchens (left) and  Mohammed Arkoun (right)

​In his talk, Professor Arkoun came to the issue of pluralism by discussing the need to bring about a dialogue of faiths and between those of faith and those of no faith.  Arkoun thus emphasized the issues of inter- and intra-faith dialogue and the role of faith in public discourses.

Mr Hitchens approached the recognition of pluralism by problematising the role of faith.  He noted the exclusionary capacities of faith traditions and, in light of these risks, posited that only a secular public realm could accommodate pluralism.

AKU-ISMC students meet informally with Professor Arkoun.

As can well be imagined, a lively discussion ensued with different opinions expressed about the capacity for pluralism within Islam and the possibility for pluralism outside a secularist society.

The Possibility of Pluralism, an initiative of AKU-ISMC that is being co-led by Prof Anthony Grayling and Dr Abdou Filali-Ansary, will continue into 2008 and will culminate in a publication of the seminar presentations. ​​​