University of Oregon


Programs and Research

The new Center for Intercultural Dialogue, where the UNESCO Chair resides, works to:

• promote and encourage faculty research and teaching in transcultural studies and interreligious dialogue

• foster an environment of peace through dialogue

• offer a UNESCO-sanctioned certificate in intercultural dialogue as a supplement to an advanced degree in a number of fields

• initiate and coordinate public programs and events

A reasoned, public discussion of the nature of religion and religious symbols from a comparative perspective is imperative at the present time, especially in light of continued tensions between the secular and religious communities and the threat of religiously driven incidents of international and domestic terrorism. The Center for Intercultural Dialogue brings together a number of disciplines in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences to address these concerns and takes concrete steps in transforming our region, our nation, and the world in the direction of peace. Among the fields represented in the Center are religious studies; comparative literature; international studies; music; the visual arts and architecture; planning, public policy and management; political science; rhetoric; cognitive and decision sciences; arts and administration; anthropology; biology; environmental science; evolutionary psychology; and peace and conflict resolution.

In view of the multiple crises we face globally — terrorism, climate change, economic instability, food and fuel shortages, genocide, and escalating incarceration rates — it is vital to world peace that citizens engage in dialogue instead of a polarizing clash of heated convictions. The Center engages students, faculty, and members of the larger community in dialogue that addresses sensitive issues, drawing on the models provided by the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and theories of restorative justice.

Students, faculty, and community members in Eugene collaborate with their counterparts associated with the other UNESCO Chairs around the world in efforts to build a global community through a dialogue that transcends cultural, religious, and geopolitical boundaries.

Skip to toolbar