Conference Agenda

World Congress of Religions 2012 – Program


November 30, 2012 (Friday)        7:00 PM –7:40 PM

INAUGURAL PEACE CONCERT (One song for the togetherness and world peace)

Presented by   Mitchell Sharoff  Group and Suchismita Das

7:40 PM – 8:00 PM    Inauguration Ceremony

Welcome Address: Dr. Pradip K. Ghosh, Chairperson, World Congress of Religions 2012

Satyam Roy Choudhury, Message from the Chief Minister of West Bengal

8:00 PM – 8:45 PM      Inaugural World Congress of Religions Keynote Speech

Reverend Martin Luther King III

Topic: Vedanta and Interfaith teachings

Inaugural book presentation on Swami Vivekananda by Satyam Roy Choudhury

Reception with Reverend Martin Luther King III


December 01, 2012 (Saturday)           9:15 AM to 10:30 AM  Session I

Swami Vivekananda and the Contemporary World

Justice Shyamal Sen

Swami Vivekananda, a pioneer in interfaith dialogue

Swami Atmajnanananda

Swami Vivekananda’s life, his contribution and impact on the world then and today

Dr. Jeffery Long

The influence of Swami Vivekananda in the West and its relevance  in today’s world

Brahmachari Mural Bhai

Swami Vivekananda’s vision of universal harmony and broader tolerance – today

Q and A, Interaction session (Moderator: Dr. Ramesh Rao)

Coffee Break

December 01, 2012 (Saturday)        11:00 AM to 12:30 PM    Session II

Fostering respect and understanding among religions, cultures, & nations

Dr. Rajwant Singh

Human co-existence demands a climate of mutual respect and religious harmony to favor peace between human beings and nations

Dr. R Drew Smith

Role of faith-based organizations in promoting world peace

Dr. Bharat Gupt

Striving for peace through negotiation on religious differences

Sensei Stultz

How the concept of oneness can foster respect and understanding among religions, cultures and nations

Q and A, Interaction session (Moderator: Dr. Jeffery Long)


12:30 to 2:00 PM: Lunch break


December 01, 2012 (Saturday)          2:00 PM to 3:45 PM    Session III

Women’s Empowerment, Human Rights, and World Peace

Dena Merriam

Spirituality and role of women in fostering global peace

Dr. Katharine Marshall

Peace and prosperity: the vital but often invisible roles of women inspired by faith

Dr. Ramesh Rao

Religious pluralism: Contributions to global peace/solution to global conflict

Dr. Sakena Yacoobi

The spread of education among women of third world countries/ spread of health education among women

Q and A, Interaction session (Moderator: Katharine Marshall)


Coffee Break



Presented by Mayur Dance Group and  UMD Moksha

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM      Keynote  Interfaith Speech by Dr. Condoleezza Rice

 (Topic: Importance of  interfaith cooperation to solve world’s problems) 

7:00 PM – 8:30 PM   (Special photo session and reception with Dr. Condoleezza Rice)


December 02, 2012 (Sunday)         9:15 AM to 10:30 AM      Session IV

Spirituality for health, peaceful life, promoting selfless service, ethical/moral values

Sister Jenna

Importance of spirituality for a balanced health and peaceful life

Dr. Iva Carruthers

Our beliefs, attitudes, and religious practices associated with being a spiritual person: Their impact on stress management in today’s fast paced-life

Dr. Paul Wee

The irony of peacemaking: Recovering the spiritual dimension

Dr Solomon Katz

Swami Vivekananda’s life: an eternal role model to promote selfless service

Q and A, Interaction session (Moderator: Dena Merriam)


Coffee Break


December 02, 2012 (Sunday)        10:45 AM to 12:00 Noon      Session V

Spirituality and Religion

Ms. Zainab Al-Suwaij

Religious platforms to bring peace in life / the role of women

Richard Foltin

Protecting religious freedom in secular society

Brother Frank Chen

Differentiating spirituality from religion

Justice Shyamal Sen

Promoting human rights in the developing world

Q and A, interaction session (Moderator: Dr. Bharat Gupt)


December 2, 2012 (Sunday)   12:15 PM – 1:15 PM


               Presented by Congresswoman-elect Tulsi Gabbard

               (First Hindu American elected to the United States Congress)

               Topic: Sprituality, karma yoga and service to humanity