ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY ON BIRTH, MARRIAGE AND DEATH
Old Teachings on New Questions
Marriage and its Alternatives: Challenges for Muslims and Christians
2nd-4th February 2005, Birmingham
The sacred writings and teachings of Islam and Christianity contain a
wealth of teachings about the key moments of life: its beginning, its
end, and the relationships that give it much of its meaning. Over long
centuries these writings and teachings have been invaluable sources of
guidance for believers.
Recent advances in scientific research and technological sophistication
have raised totally new possibilities for deciding about birth and
death. It is now often a simple matter to choose when and how to have
children, and when and how to die. At the same time, attitudes towards
relationships and the expectations surrounding them have altered, giving
rise to new approaches towards marriage, partnership, the family and
community. These changes challenge the received teachings of the
What do the long-respected teachings of Islam and Christianity say about
the key moments that affect the lives of all human beings?
How are these teachings challenged by developments in laboratory
techniques and in social experimentation?
Are they relevant to current medical research and prevailing social
norms? If so, how?
In order to map the problems and to begin to search for answers, three
annual Christian-Muslim conferences have been organised. They are
sponsored and hosted jointly by:
The Al-Mahdi Institute of Islamic Studies, Birmingham, UK
The Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations,
University of Birmingham, UK
The UNESCO Chair for Human Rights, Peace and Democracy, Shahid Beheshti
University, Tehran, Iran.
The first conference was held in Birmingham on 12-14 February 2004, on
the theme New Approaches to Conception and Birth: Challenges for
Christians and Muslims.
The second conference, on Marriage and its Alternatives: Challenges for
Muslims and Christians, will be held at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre,
Selly Oak, Birmingham from Wednesday to Friday, 2-4 February 2005.
The conference will include presentations by experts from Iran and the
Papers are also invited from interested participants.
The topics are expected to include:
· the nature of marriage in Christian and Muslim teachings
· the responsibility of partners within marriage
· the rights of marriage partners over one another
· children of divorce
· stable partnerships outside marriage
· same-sex relationships
Further details about the conference are available from Carol Bebawi,
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