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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair graces student conference at NUS

05 August 2010

PRIVILEDGED MEETING: Students from the NUS University Scholars Programme and other overseas universities get up close and personal with The Right Honourable Mr Tony Blair (front row, sixth person from left)

Over 40 participants of the Faith and Globalisation Initiative Student Conference 2010, held at NUS from 31 July to 1 August 2010, had the opportunity to meet the Right Honourable Mr Tony Blair who was the special guest at the event. The student participants came from NUS, Yale University, University of McGill, University of Durham, University of Western Australia, Technologico De Monterrey (Mexico), and Peking University.

The conference explored the relationship between faith and globalisation and highlighted the role of religion in today’s complex and culturally diverse world. The dialogue session with Mr Tony Blair was the highlight of the conference. During the session, he stressed the importance of understanding religious faith and he shared how “faith motivates people for good or for ill.”

The conference was led by prominent faculty members, which included Prof Lily Kong and Dr Lai Ah Eng from NUS, Prof Miroslav Volf from Yale University and Assoc Prof Daniel Stepniak from the University of Western Australia.

During the conference, the student participants also had the opportunity to visit religious sites in different parts of Singapore. The purpose of these field trips was to provide students with a broad understanding and appreciation of religious diversity, issues and sensitivities. It was an eye-opening experience particularly for the international student participants as they were able to witness interfaith dialogue and interfaith collaboration among the multi-religious groups in Singapore.

The Faith and Globalisation Initiative Student Conference 2010 was jointly organised by NUS and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

By Ms Peggy Song, University Scholars Programme, NUS