Interfaith Conference 2015

Theme: Connecting through Dialogue
14 November 2015
10.00 – 17.00
Institute of Social Studies, Kortenaerkade 12,The Hague
organized by the
International Student Chaplaincy (

Introduction to the theme

In a world full of growing political, social and religious tensions dialogue is not a hobby of the idealistic but pure necessity. Therefore we chose as a theme for our annual Interfaith Conference; Connecting through Dialogue. Each one of us can use dialogue, a powerful tool, to create mutual understanding, to connect people of different identities and to share the best we have to offer in order to work towards a just and peaceful future for mankind. An open dialogue reduces tensions and counters violence and radicalization. We are convinced that inter-religious dialogue is not only necessary but also possible and enriching.

Dialogue is practiced on many levels, from the dialogue within ourselves, to the dialogue between communities, to dialogue on a global scale. Dialogue is more than talking; it comprises common action, sharing of life, praying and celebrating together. A fruitful dialogue requires an open heart and mind, an attitude of empathetic listening, the willingness to learn from the other and to work together.

During this interfaith conference we will share inspirations from various faith traditions. We will reflect about the meaning of dialogue, and learn from real life examples about the possibilities and challenges of dialogue. May this Interfaith Conference strengthen our commitment to connect what is disconnected and to open new ways of dialogue in our divided yet so interconnected world.

The keynote speaker

Willem Jansen (49), protestant theologian, is programme coordinator in the international NGO ‘Initiatives of Change’. He studied Comparative Religion, Islam and Arabic. He studied en lived in Egypt, Pakistan and various places in the Middle-East. From 2009-2014 Willem Jansen worked in Kenya as a lecturer in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at St. Paul’s University, Limuru. Together with Kenyan colleagues he started an interreligious centre in Eastleigh (Nairobi) for practical intercultural programmes. His main field of interest is the relationship between religion and human rights, and intercultural dialogue. In his speech he will talk about what ‘dialogue’ actually is; its various shades and dimensions and he will focus on dialogue in practice, or diapraxis. Willem Jansen is married and has 3 children.

Dialogue Tables

After a Question & Answer session we will debate various issues in small groups. In these groups we will move from table to table discussing different elements and recording our views, having the opportunity to react to what others wrote before.

The programme

10:00 Registration, refreshments
10:15 Musical contribution
10:30 Opening
10:35 Words of inspiration from different religious traditions
10:55 Welcome message by prof. Inge Hutter on behalf of the ISS
11:05 Key note speech ‘Connecting through dialogue’ by mr. Willem Jansen,
11:45 Question & Answer session
12:00 Dialogue tables
13:00 Lunch (vegetarian option)
14:00 Group sessions

1. Dialogue within myself (multiple identity)
2. Dialogue at the dining table (mixed couples/families)
3. Dialogue in the street (case studies from Kenya and The Netherlands)
4. Dialogue and media (the negative and positive role of social and other media)
5. Dialogue, mission and truth claims (how they go together)

15:30 Break
16:00 Musical intermezzo
16:15 Reports from the group sessions
16:30 Winner of the photo contest announced
16:40 Closing ceremony
17:00 End of the conference

Practical arrangements

Contribution € 5 for students ( €10 for people with an income) includes lunch, tea/coffee, to be paid on arrival.

Travel expenses (train second class within the Netherlands) will be refunded.
Location: Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Kortenaerkade 12, The Hague (opposite Hilton Hotel)

Public transport

From Central Station by bus 22 or 24, from Hollands Spoor by tram 1, stop Mauritskade. Walking distance to ISS from Central Station is approximately 30 minutes. For cars there is paid parking around the ISS.

Photo contest

Opportunity to participate in a photo competition with the theme ‘connecting through dialogue’. Send the photo to, the deadline is 12th November. We will exhibit all the photos during the conference and announce the winner.


E-mail to register or for further information. Alternatively register online at

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Interfaith Conference: Connecting through dialogue