Professor Pascale Fournier to Sign the St Andrews Declaration on a Shared Humanity
On September 23, 2016, Professor Pascale Fournier, Research Chair in Legal Pluralism and Comparative Law, will have the pleasure of travelling to Scotland to become a signatory of the St Andrews Declaration on a Shared Humanity. In lending her support to the Declaration, Professor Fournier joins other internationally distinguished scholars and religious figures from around the world – including Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1984) and the Dalai Lama (1989) – in reaffirming the principles of humanity, equality, diversity and freedom.
An initiative of the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics (CSRP) of the University of St Andrews with which Professor Fournier has been associated since 2005, the Declaration is an eleven-point document incorporating the teachings of six of the world’s major religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism). It is aimed to serve as a tool for academic institutions, faith groups and communities around the world to promote interfaith dialogue and to foster the notion of a common humanity. Hailed as a call for unity against extremism and radicalism, the Declaration has attracted significant attention and praise from the media as well as the general public. The Declaration has been the subject of numerous articles published by a variety of Scottish and English media outlets such as The Scotsman, The Sunday Times, The Mirror, Herald Scotland, The Courier, The Daily Record, Evening Times, STV News, The Stand and The Courrier.
A passionate advocate of issues arising at the intersection of law, religion, gender and access to justice, Professor Fournier wholeheartedly supports the Declaration. Having extensively interacted with religious women of various faiths in the context of her field research and her personal journeys, Professor Fournier is keen to encourage discourse among religious communities and with the secular world on an international platform. To this end, Professor Fournier will chair a roundtable discussion entitled “Diverse Issues on Dialogue” on September 24th 2016 at the School of Divinity (St Mary’s College).
This event will mark Professor Fournier’s second visit to the University of St Andrews in less than a year, where she also presented the School of Divinity’s 2016 Religion and Politics Lecture in March 2016. Professor Fournier will be accompanied by Suzie Cusson, coordinator of her Research Chair, and Victoria Snyers, a member of the Religion and Diversity Project under her supervision. Ms. Cusson and Ms. Snyers will have the honour of signing the Declaration as part of an international group of 30 young leaders emanating from various high schools and universities.
Moreover, two of Professor Fournier’s sons, Charles (8) and Pierre (6), will also become signatories alongside other young peers from around the world. The boys’ schoolmates attending the Externat Mont-Jésus-Marie in Montreal and their parents have also endorsed the Declaration, as represented by Principal Sylvie Gagné and the Association des parents de l’Externat Mont-Jésus-Marie. To mark the signature of the Declaration and to further the conversation about the commonalities between the different faiths of the world, Professor Fournier and Professor Mario Aguilar, Director of the CRSP, will collaborate on the publication of an upcoming book exploring the notion of shared humanity through testimonies of the Declaration’s signatories.