International panel on Virgin Mary held in Istanbul


Date posted: November 12, 2013

The international panel entitled “The Virgin Mary in the Holy Bible and the Holy Qur’an” jointly organized by Journalists and Writers Foundation’s Intercultural Dialogue Platform (KADIP), Roma Tevere Instituto and Izmir Intercultural Dialogue Center took place at WOW Istanbul Convention Center, on November 1-2, 2013.

With a large participation of specialists in the field, the two-day panel featured a wide range of headlines including “Approaches to the Blessed Virgin Mary,” “Discussions about the Blessed Virgin Mary,” ‘The Blessed Virgin Mary Teaching and Its Historical Development”, from the perspectives of the two books.

Chorepiscopus Yusuf Sag, Vicar General and leader of the Syriac Catholic Church in Turkey; Cemalnur Sargut, Turkish Women’s Cultural Association Director in Istanbul; Prof. Muhit Mert Fatih University Faculty of Theology Dean and Journalists and Writers Foundation President Mustafa Yesil inaugurated the panel with their opening remarks.

Approaches to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Discussions about the Blessed Virgin Mary, Virgin Mary’s Mystical Character from the Islamic Perspective, Virgin Mary in the Holy Bible and Qur’an and the Blessed Virgin Mary Teaching and its Historical Development were the session headlines, each elaborated during the following Q-and-A sessions.

Bishop Sahak Mashalian of Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul in his presentation said two women namely, Virgin Mary and Eve have always been revered in monotheistic religions. “Virgin Mary has been a source of inspiration for many. No other woman in history has been as influential as Mary, the woman of few words.

Emine Eroglu, Timas Publishing Editor-in-Chief in the session two delivered her presentation entitled “Al-nafs Al-safiya (purified lower self) and Mary as the Chosen One.” Eroglu noted that God sent a message to the male-dominated community of the time by naming Jesus as “Jesus, Son of Mary.”

As the panel drew to a close, a committee of presenters gathered to draft the final declaration, following a video clip on Virgin Mary. The declaration committee under the leadership of Prof. Omer Faruk Harman was comprised of Prof. Chaterine Joseph Droste, Dr. Mustafa Alıcı, Dr. İsmail Taşpınar ve Kadriye Erdemli.

In the final declaration of the panel “The Virgin Mary in the Holy Bible and The Holy Qur’an”, it was noted that Virgin Mary who broke many discriminative taboos of her time played a significant role throughout history in placing women in the status they deserve.

Published [in Turkish] on KADIP, November 2, 2013.

Source: HizmetMovement.Com , November 12, 2013


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Kenneth Hunter is the Principal of the Prosser Career Academy High School. He studied theology at Chicago Loyola University and taught world religions in high schools. He served as the chairperson of Illinois State Board of Education Language Arts Assessment Advisory Council (2002-2012). He is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago.

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