Department of World Religions and Culture

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The Department of Comparative Religion was established on December 1,   1999 with Dr. Kazi Nurul Islam as the Chair. The department was renamed   as the Department of World Religions in 2000.

  The department offers a   four-year B.A. Honours and a one-year M.A. course. A two-year M.Phil   programme and three year Ph.D. programme are also offered. Research   areas and fields of interest include Indian philosophy, Islam and Indian   Religions specially Hinduism and Buddhism, Japanese and Chinese   Religions, North American Religions, History of Religion, religious   Traditions and Movements, Philosophy of Religions, Religions of   Indigenous Groups, Women in Religion, New Religious Movements,   Comparative Religion between Islam, Judaism and Christianity, Mormons   and Muslims. Scholars and eminent educationists from home and abroad   frequently visit the department to hold seminars on the academic study   of religion. Dr. Joseph T. O'Connell, Professor Emeritus of the   Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto, Canada is   associated with the department as visiting faculty. The department has a   well-equipped library with a rich collection.

  Cultural programmes:

  including dramatic performances and screening of documentaries on Human   Rights, HIV/AIDS, Peace and Justice, Gender-based Violence, Tribal   Culture etc. are organized on different occasions. There was a time:   When religionists, precisely because of their own convictions, were   unable to cooperate with each other. But the time has changed to a great   extent.



  Now religionists, in spite of historical differences, must seek   to unite all men for the attainment of world peace. Unless the peoples   of faith come together anti-religious people will gain the upper hand.   And this may lead to the further breaking up of the moral fiber of the   human society. It is high time when people belonging to different   religious traditions should cooperate with each other in order to   contribute to the cause of peace for mankind. It goes without saying   that this can be and should done through knowledge, dialogue and   demonstration of the fact that love, compassion, selflessness and the   inner truthfulness have ultimately greater power than hatred, enmity and   self-interest.


  Though all the religions of the world teach love, preach   sympathy for others and encourage man to exercise utmost self-restraint   and have most profoundly been a source of inspiration for the highest   good of mankind, the world today is torn by conflicts, enmity and   religious hatred. In this predicament a peaceful society is impossible   unless people belonging to different faiths understand each other   better. This prompted Dr. Kazi Nurul Islam of the Department of   Philosophy to establish a Department of Comparative Religion. He, along   with Dr. Abdul Jalil Mia, Professor and former Chairman of the   Department of Philosophy, started the process in 1981. Having been   extremely frustrated, Dr. Jalil gave up the hope after few years, but   Dr. Islam kept on insisting. Due to Dr. Islam’s serious endeavor for   about 18 years, the Dhaka University authority finally approved his   proposals and established the Department of Comparative Religion on   December 1, 1999 and Dr. Kazi Nurul Islam was appointed its Chairman. It   may be mentioned that Dr. Islam was Professor and Chairman of the   Department of Philosophy and also Director, G.C. Dev Centre for   Philosophical Studies prior to his joining the newly established   Department of Comparative Religion. At present he is also Director of   the Centre for Advanced Researches in Humanities of this University.  


  However, this Department was renamed as the Department of World   Religions on November 7, 2000. Immediately after the department was   established, the Secretary General of the UNO Mr. Kofi Anan and Pope   John Paul II congratulated the then Vice Chancellor Prof. A. K. Azad   Chowdhury for this sincere cooperation to establish a Department of this   kind. The name of the Department was changed in 2008 and the present   name is Department of World Religions and Couture.

 


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