“Countering Fundamentalism: Perspectives from Buddhism and Other Religions” Seminar

Posted on 21.11.2018

On 17 November 2018, the Buddhist College of Singapore and The Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies (SRP) programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) jointly hosted their second annual seminar titled “Countering Fundamentalism: Perspectives from Buddhism and Other Religions”. The seminar aims to explore the concepts of fundamentalism and how to counter it from the perspectives of different mainstream religions in modern society today. About 60 participants attended the seminar.

Venerable Dr. Chuan Sheng, BCS Vice-Rector (Academic Affairs and Advisor), first delivered the opening remarks. Following that, Ambassador Mohammad Alami Musa, Head of the SRP Programme, welcomed the participants and highlighted the aims of the day.

As the keynote speaker, Professor Abdullah Saeed, the Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies and the Director of the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia, provided an overview of the concept of fundamentalism. Subsequently, Dr. Paul Hedges (Associate Professor at the SRP Programme), Dr. Mohamed Bin Ali (Assistant Professor at the SRP Programme), Mr. S. Ravenderan (former Vice President of the Hindu Centre, Singapore) and Dr. Lee Foong Ming (Assistant Professor of BCS) elaborated on the manifestations of fundamentalism and ways to counter them from the perspectives of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism respectively. A lively panel discussion followed with participants engaging the speakers in discussions on how to engage the community in identifying and countering fundamentalism.

As the seminar drew to a close, Venerable Dr. Chuan Sheng presented tokens of appreciation to all the speakers. Lastly, certificates of participation were handed out to all participants.