International Speakers at the 2013 Middle East Conference

June 17 to 21, the Institute of Middle East Studies at ABTS will hold its annual Middle East Conference. This year, the conference’s theme is “Your Rights & My Responsibilities: Biblical & Islamic Perspectives on Human Rights”.

The following are some of the international speakers at the conference.

Paul S. Fiddes has the title of Professor of Systematic Theology in the University of Oxford, and holds the degrees of D.Phil. and D.D. from the same University. He is a minister ordained in the Baptist Union of Great Britain. He was Principal of Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford for 18 years, and is now Director of Research in the College and Acting Director of the Oxford Centre for Baptist History and Heritage. He was Chairperson of the Doctrine and Inter-Church Commission of the Baptist World Alliance 2005-2010, and the Baptist Chair of international theological conversations with both the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church. He has written or edited 17 books and more than 90 articles in the areas of Christian doctrine, ecumenical theology and the theology of culture, and has a particular interest in the interface between theology and creative literature.

Paul will be presenting or participating in the sessions: “Theological & Biblical Foundations for Human Rights Based Approaches,” “Balancing ‘Freedom of Expression’ with a Christian Concern for Social Responsibility,” “Religious Rights & Freedoms within the Baptist Tradition: Principles & Practice,” and “Islam and Christianity in a Pluralistic Society – Is a Common Understanding of Human Rights and/or Social Responsibility the Key?”

Ziya Meral is a London based Turkish researcher, academic and writer. He is a Research Associate at the Foreign Policy Centre and a PhD candidate in Politics at the University of Cambridge. He has published opinion editorials and academic essays on Turkish and Middle Eastern politics and foreign policy, religion, human rights, philosophy, social theory, comparative literature and theology.

Ziya will be presenting on “Religion, Identity and Conversion: Perspectives from Social Sciences and Human Rights,” “Balancing ‘Freedom of Expression’ with a Christian Concern for Social Responsibility,” and “Implications for Human Rights & Interfaith Relations within Societies Emerging from Arab Uprisings.”

Danut Manastireanu has a PhD in Orthodox Theology (2005) from Brunel University, London. He taught theology for five years, and has worked since 1999 as Director for Faith & Development of the Middle East & Eastern Europe region for World Vision International, a Christian humanitarian organization focusing on children. He continues to teach theology and supervise theological research, having published several books and theological articles. He is an Anglican, theologically, and worships in a Pentecostal liturgical church.

Each morning, Danut will be presenting the daily devotionals for the conference and he will be participating in the session: “How Should the Church Respond to the Arab Uprisings: Challenges & Opportunities within the Emerging MENA Region.”

Ehab el-Kharrat serves as a member of the Egyptian shura council, the upper house of the Egyptian Parliament, directs the Freedom from Drugs and HIV Program in Cairo, and is a member of Qsra Dubarra Arab Evangelical Church.

Ehab will be presenting or participating in the sessions: “Implications for Human Rights & Interfaith Relations within Societies Emerging from Arab Uprisings,” “How Should The Church Respond to the Arab Uprisings: Challenges & Opportunities within the Emerging MENA Region,” and “Islamization of Society & Human Rights For All – Is It Possible?”

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