The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (DOC) co-hosted a round table on “The Role of Religious Identity in the Modern World” at Tomsk State University on May 22 as a part of the Tomsk interreligious dialogue project.
The event was organised in cooperation with the Philosophy and History Departments of Tomsk State University, and was attended by members of the academic community, religious organisations, government agencies, media and students researching issues of religion and ethnicity.
During the discussion, DOC Chief Researcher Alexey Malashenko stressed the importance of the Tomsk interreligious dialogue project in helping to create a platform for interaction and facilitating an understanding of the position of the “other”.
Alexander Pechurkin, rector of the St. Nicholas Church, discussed the concept of a person “mentally exploring” their own religion. He noted that this can have positive implications for the individual, facilitating the preservation of one’s own identity in an increasingly complex and changing world. However, he added that it could also lead certain individuals to forget the basic humanistic principles of their own denomination.
Savely Wolfson, Associate Professor at the Department of Modern History and International Relations, spoke about the importance of interreligious dialogue, particularly in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country, where citizens may have a low level of awareness of other religious traditions.
Oleg Khazanov, an Associate Professor at the Department of the History of the Ancient World, the Middle Ages and the Methodology of History emphasised the role of the university as a space for interreligious dialogue, noting how the university environment serves