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Sept. 11 Panel Will Focus On Jefferson, Religion And Today’s Conflicts

August 26, 2002-- Can the ideas of religious freedom and tolerance so strongly advocated by Thomas Jefferson and other Enlightenment thinkers have anything to offer today’s world threatened by political-religious conflict?

A public panel discussion, “Religion, Enlightenment, and the New Global Order,” co-sponsored by the University of Virginia’s Center on Religion and Democracy and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, will focus on such questions Wednesday, Sept. 11, the anniversary of last year’s terrorist attacks against the United States.

The discussion, featuring six U.Va. faculty experts in history, religion, politics and the Middle East, will be held at 4 p.m. in the Jefferson Library at Monticello.

For devout believers in many of the world’s religions, faith is not simply a matter of inner devotion but also a set of precepts concerning proper social order, said James Davison Hunter, director of the Center on Religion and Democracy. “In this light, they see religious privatization as part of a poisonous package that produces confusion, impiety, immorality, materialism and selfishness.”

Panel participants will include history professors Peter Onuf and Elizabeth Thompson; politics professor Michael Smith and politics professor emeritus Ruhollah Ramazani; sociology professor Murray Milner and religious studies professor Peter Ochs.

Contact: Bob Brickhouse, (434) 924-6856

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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