Dr Michael Shortall attends OSCE Network in Vienna.

Date:

October 15th - October 16th

Location:

Vienna, Austria

On the 15th-16thOctober, Dr Michael Shortall attended a workshop in Vienna to advance the research project of the OSCE Network of Think Thanks and Academic Institutions, entitled "Religion and Conflict Prevention in the OSCE Context" under the direction of Ambassador Philip McDonagh of the Edward M Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention at Maynooth University. It follows on from the opening workshop hosted by both educational institutions on the Maynooth campus. Dr Suzanne Mulligan contributed to that opening discussion and her ideas are reflected in the document.

As the draft report currently states: The objective of the project is to condense various areas of research as well as lessons learned in specific contexts into recommendations on how to mobilize and include religious leaders, institutions and congregations in new coalitions and frameworks of engagement. Such initiatives would be aimed at conflict prevention.In view of the broad range of options in a multitude of countries and sub-regions, as well as within the OSCE as a whole, the project has an exploratory character.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions, provides expertise, stimulates discussion and raises awareness of the Organisation of Security and Cooperation Europe. The network is used for the exchange of expertise and the coordination of activities between its members. The network's members are research institutions from across the OSCE area that are engaged in academic research and policy analysis on issues relevant to the OSCE’s security agenda. Currently, the network includes 84 institutions from 42 countries.

If you are interested in learning more, why not apply for the Masters in Theology (Christianity, Human Rights and Society)? Come learn more about how religions can be real agents in bringing about a more stable, peaceful and just world.

In the words of Dr Suzanne Mulligan: “Aristotle is believed to have said that people who think they have no need for the common good are either beasts or gods. The Christian understanding of the common good helps us to avoid such a delusion. It asks us to become certain sorts of people in the world: caring, empathetic, responsible, just. We avoid descending to the level of the beasts. But nether is the Christian concept of the common good promising us a utopia, a heaven of sorts where we become gods. For some, the common good is an idea that remains beyond our reach, elusive and utopian. I would argue, however, that both the Christian faith urges, and the reasonable hopes of humanity demand, that we at least try to create a world suited not for the beasts or the gods, but one that affords all peoples the opportunity to flourish.”