The panelists on Religion and Terrorism are introduced below keynote speakers's section.
Sara Imilmaqui Aguas
Sara Imilmaqui Aguas is civil activist who belongs to Mapuche, an inidgenous group of Chile. She has been fighting for rights of aboriginal peoples of Chile for decades. Sara Imilmaqui Aguas is one of the most important leaders of aboriginal people’s movement in Chile. Now she fights for the aboriginal people’s rights to live on their holy ground on the Bio-Bio River in Chile. The Bio-Bio River is planned to be destroyed by a huge dam which a multinational water-power corporation wants to build there. Sara Imilmaqui Aguas is one of the most influential leaders fighting against the plan to destroy the Bio-Bio River. She has also founded an organization Mapu Domuche Newen – Women with the strength of the Earth. The members of the group have received several international awards, among others the Alternative Nobel Prize and the Petra Kelly award voted by German Environmentalists. In addition to activities in Chile, Sara Imilmaqui Aguas has been a member of the UN’s Aboriginal People’s Parliament.
Robert Dannin is an Adjunct Professor of Metropolitan Studies at New York University. He holds a doctorate (1981) in socio-cultural
anthropology and ethnolinguisitics from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en
Sciences Sociales in Paris. His book, Black Pilgrimage to Islam (2002), has been critically received as the first comprehensive ethnography about Islam in America. Dr. Dannin was formerly the director of Magnum Photos Inc. (1985-90) where he produced Sebastiao Salgado's acclaimed, "Workers, The Archaeology of Industrialism" and "Inferno" by James Nachtwey. He recently edited Arms Against Fury, Magnum Photographers in Afganistan (2002). Here is the abstract of his keynote lecture.
Anne Foerst (Dr.theol.) is professor for Theology and Computer Science at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY. She is also the director of NEXUS, The Science & Religion Dialogue
project. Previously, she has worked as research scientist at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was also affiliated with the Center for the Studies of Values in Public Life of Harvard Divinity School. She served as the theological advisor for the Cog and Kismet Projects in MIT, two attempts to develop embodied, autonomous and social robots in analogy to human infants which might learn and develop more mature intelligences. She also initiated and directs "God and computers", a dialogue project initially between Harvard Divinity School, the Boston Theological Institute and MIT and now to be continued at St. Bonaventure. She is currently working on her book "On Robots and Humans ... - and God" to appear in 2003 at Dutton. Here is the abstract of her keynote lecture.
Stewart M. Hoover
Stewart M. Hoover is Professor of Media Studies and Professor Adjoint of Religious Studies and American Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Stewart M. Hoover has researched and written widely on media, religion and culture. His research interests are in reception studies of media and the related cultural implications. Stewart M. Hoover chairs the International Study Commission on Media, Religion and Culture. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Uppsala Group. He also directed the first international public conference on Media, Religion and Culture held at Boulder in 1996. Stewart M. Hoover has consulted and lectured extensively both in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to his work on media and religion, he has conducted research on media and culture in the Eastern Caribean between 1981 and 1990. Some of his most famous publications are Religious Television (1990) and Rethinking Media, Religion and Culture (1997). Read the abstract of his keynote lecture.
Robert White is Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication at the Gregorian University in Rome and Professor of Communication Ethics and Communication Theory. He is former Research Director of the Centre for the Study of Communication and Culture in London and founding editor with Michael Traber of the “Communication and Human Values” series published by Sage. Here is the abstract of his keynote lecture.
Mihály Hoppál is the director in European Folkore Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in Ethnography and Hungarian Literature and Linguistics. Hoppál is a famous scholar on shamanism. He has published several studies on shamanism, and recently also on shamanism in postmodern age. He is also the editor of Journal of Folklore Research (2000). Some of his newest publications are Eros in Folklore (2002), Shaman Traditions in Transition (2000) and Local Cultures in a Global World (1999).
Michael Pye is Professor of Religious Studies at Marburg University, Germany, interleaved with a three year period as Professor of Religious Studies at Lancaster University, England. He was President of the International Association for the History of Religions (1995-2000). He has Ph.D. on Religious Studies at the Univeristy of Leeds. He has special interest in East Asian Buddhism and contemporary Japanese religions. Selected publications: Emerging from Meditation (1990), Macmillan Dictionary of Religion (1993); also many articles on various aspects of the study of religion, in particular on Japanese religion. Read the abstract of his keynote lecture.
Panelists on Religion and Terrorism
Erkki Tuomioja is at the present moment minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the post he has held since spring 2000. Before that he was Minister of Trade and Industry for three years. Tuomioja has a Ph.D. in political science. Before his political career he worked as a journalist.
Robert Dannin is professor of Metropolitan Studies at the New York University. He has published several books about islam and African-American muslims. He will chair the Religion and Terrorism panel discussion. See also above.
Tarja Väyrynen is a research director of Tampere Peace Research Institute in Finland. She has a Ph.D. in International Conflict Analysis, University of Kent at Canterbury, Great Britain. She is the author of Culture and International Conflict Resolution (2001, Manchester and New York: Mancehester University Press) and several other publications.
Leena Reikko is experienced free-lance journalist, working mostly for YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Company). She is living in the Middle East since 12 years now. Reikko is currently covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including islamic resistance movements.
Juha Pentikäinen is professor of comparative religion in the University of Helsinki, Finland. He will discuss the topic of conceptualizing religion in the context of media wars and terrorism.
Mikko Valtasaari is a journalist of YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Company) who has specialized in Arabic countries. He will discuss the three major religions of the Middle East – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – and their relationship to terrorism.