Author's Dinner with Karen Armstrong
In 2011 the CES inaugurated the Authors Dinners, a new series of talks by public intellectuals about Europe, its identity and issues impacting it, which are attended by politicians and experts from the European People’s Party family and selected guests. The second dinner held in 2011 featured Karen Armstrong, the renowned religious commentator and author of many books on comparative religion. The dinner was directly preceded by a conference titled ‘The Role of Religion in Modern Society: Practical Compassion, not Theoretical Belief’.
Ms Armstrong stated that, although much of the Western world has enjoyed secularism, it has been imposed in such a way in certain parts of the Muslim world that it has led to a backlash from those feeling that their religion and traditions have been taken away. However, Ms Armstrong argued, revulsion toward violence has been the cornerstone of nearly every religion; moreover, almost all faiths include the idea of practical compassion, which is a concept that we must implement in order to live in peace.