Religion & Media in Iran

Iran is holding its second International Conference on Religion and Media this coming November 9 - 12, 2008. Topics of special interest are divided into two areas: Religion and Media Communication, and Religion in the Media. Papers should be submitted soon, by June 15, and decisions on attendance will be made by the end of June. The conference will be held in Tehran and Qom. Following the conference, an optional tour of Isfahan or Shiraz is available.

The email I received notifying me of the conference states, "We cordially invite all media researchers and scholars, representatives from diverse religious traditions, professionals and students involved with the subjects of the conference to attend and submit a paper.... A few scholarships are available to partially subsidize the costs of participants with selected papers."

Alongside the conference will be a Student Workshop on Religion, Peace and Media held in Tehran, Qom, and the beach of the Caspian Sea.

It sounds like a tremendous opportunity for people involved in the study of religion. Please pass this announcement along to others who might be interested.


SAM said...

I've once commented on a similar issue, but now, I truly think it is unproper to any Iranian to believe that Iran can cordially accept "from diverse religious traditions".

I'd like to see a paper on bahá'í freedom, sunni mosques in Teheran or sufi freedom of thought at these congresses.

Naturally, I like to believe that academics have no fault in this, but a workshop on religion, peace and media after recent events is too much (and too needed)!

Michael Nielsen said...

Yes, Sam, you are quite right that Iran's history of treating Baha'i provides a disappointing commentary on religion, peace and the media. Perhaps you should propose a paper and describe to us the response? :-)

As is true of all cultures, some viewpoints are privileged over other viewpoints, and what is acceptable in one location is not necessarily acceptable in others. Part of what interests me about the conference is that very issue-- it would be fascinating to hear the scope of papers and issues that they address, and the discussion they generate. Abstracts from their first conference, held in 2005, are available here, and appear to me to deal mainly with theoretical issues that transcend specific religions or groups. Still, several papers do address specific religions (Islam, mostly, but also Christianity and Hinduism). It also is interesting to note that the scholars heading the scientific committee come from Iran, of course, but also the USA and Australia.

SAM said...

Once more, thank you for your knoweledge and wise words. But, I don't think I could present anything at all in Iran.

On the matter of media and bahá'í I wrote a text for my blog that has been translated and published here (http://www.bahaiviews.net/2008/06/04/on-the-media-mirror-of-the-world-and-not-mirror-of-the-propaganda/)

I'd like to have your insight on the matter. It seems that media is no longer a mirror for the realities of the world, but a reflection of propaganda...

I will have a look on those abstracts. Thank you!