Commission: Religion and belief in contemporary societies

In relation to the symposium Water in Times of Climate Change on 6 November, I was also invited to capture a smaller event that took place on 8 November in the Senate, The Hague. One of its key speakers was His-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

Arrival of the Patriarch at the Binnenhof, The Hague

This symposium was about religion, security and peace. “In the last two decades religion has returned to the public sphere in modern societies. Often this return is associated with violence like 9-11. The return of religion is also associated with refugees and immigrants, and can create a tension between the freedom of religion and the freedom of opinion. As a consequence, religion is at the desk of security in academic and policy circles.”

Welcome by Jan Anthonie Bruijn, President of the Senate
Opening words by Jos Douma, Special Envoy on Religion and Belief
‘Religion and Security’ by Professor Ernst M.H. Hirsch Ballin, Distinguished University Professor (Tilburg University) and President of the Asser Institute for International and European Law Professor of Human Rights Law (University of Amsterdam), Minister of Justice (1989-1994 and 2006-2010)

Behind Professor Hirsch Ballin is a larger-than-life painting of King Willem II who gifted the Senate his portrait in 1848 after his direct involvement ended. This was a clever move, because in this way his presence could still be seen.

‘Minorities’ by Professor Azza Karam, Secretary General-elect of Religions for Peace, Secretary-General of Religions for Peace, and Professor Religion and Sustainable Development (VU Amsterdam)
‘Religion and Peace’ by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Richly painted ceiling of the Dutch Senate in which various people are depicted with whom the Dutch had trading relations in the 17th century, like Poles, Persians, Turks, Mexicans, Spanish, French, Russians and Germans.

Final words by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
Inner court of the Binnenhof, the Hague

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