(Vatican Radio) Does religion still matter in contemporary society? Are freedom and
religion opposites? What gives real meaning to life? A Vatican sponsored TEDx conference
later this month will attempt to answer some of those existential questions from the
points of view of an unusual mix of people. 18 speakers, from artists and NBA basketball
players to a pop singer and a Cardinal will be examining the impact of religious freedom
in their own lives and from a global perspective at the TEDxViaDellaConciliazione
conference April 19th.
TED.com is a global non-profit organization
devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” At TED’s annual conferences in the U.S. and Europe,
the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in
18 minutes. Ted speakers have included the likes of Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Gordon
Brown, Isabel Allende and Bono. The talks are filmed and uploaded onto the web for
everyone to watch.
TEDx conferences are events independently organized at the
Sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture and inspired
by its President Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi’s Courtyard of the Gentiles, an international
forum for dialogue between believers and non believers, TEDxViaDella Conciliazione
has been organized by a group of lay people in Roman academia. The day-long conference
will be held in an auditorium in Via della Conciliazione, just down the street from
St. Peter’s Basilica. Cardinal Ravasi will be among those inaugurating the talks.
TEDxViaDellaConciliazione will be asking where’s the common ground between
people of different faiths and backgrounds? Is there room for mutual understanding
and religious freedom as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted
Speakers will include architect Daniel Libeskind whose Freedom Tower
is rising out of the 911 ashes at Ground Zero, Cuban American singer Gloria Estefan,
Astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno (from the Vatican Observatory), Hussah Sabah al-Salem
al-Sabah (Kuwait), Chief Rabbi David Rosen (Jerusalem), Sumaya Slim (Mexico), Architect
Fernando Romero (Mexico), educator Wenzong Wang (China), Comboni Nurse Alicia Vacas
(Jerusalem, Gaza), NBA star Vlade Divac (Serbia), scientist Pilar Mateo, (Spain),
graffiti writer Mohammed Ali, (UK). IT guru Hisham El-Sherif (Egypt), Shroud of Turin
investigator Barrie Schwortz (USA), global researcher Brian Grim (USA), art historian
Elizabeth Lev (Italy), a cleric from strife-ridden Nigeria and students from war-torn
countries living in communion at Rondine Cittadella della Pace (Italy).
more information, see: www.tedxviadellaconciliazione.com and www.ted.com.
Radio will provide further coverage of the event in the weeks to come. listen to
this brief report by Tracey McClure: