Idea exchange, Amsterdam, July 2017
“Virtuous Character: Common Values, Shared Visions” brought together 26 guests from Muslim and Christian communities to learn from one another about the practice of character virtues in Islam and Christianity.
Most public discourse around character development focuses either on public education and shared secular values, like tolerance, or on religious education and values that arise from within the faith tradition. Rare is any conversation about character virtues that are common to different religious traditions, and how it might be possible for people of different faiths to cooperate in cultivating character virtues that advance human flourishing and the common good.
This conference reflected our desire to shape a new conversation about topics of interest to both Christians and Muslims, and to support cooperative activities between the faith communities that work for the common good in our societies. We live in a time where stories of fear and mistrust between faith communities dominate the headlines. Yet this current situation provides a unique opportunity to engage both traditions in a series of conversations that builds upon recognized strengths and convictions internal to each faith.
Millions of Muslims and Christians believe our faiths have something positive to offer our broken world. Our shared belief in human dignity is based on our status as God’s children; it is expressed in the relational character virtues–love, gratitude, compassion, humility, generosity, empathy, charity, forgiveness, and commitment–that are central to the moral vision of both faiths.
Videos and interviews
During the conference participants and presenters sat down to discuss the themes and topics that were presented. Below are some videos and clips from interviews, that were captured at the conference.
An onsite video taken at the conference in Amsterdam, featuring Professor Saeed Kahn, Wayne State University.