In the past, much of the thinking and talking about religion in New Zealand had to do with Christianity. Today, it includes Buddhism, Islam, Bahai, Hinduism, Confucianism and many others. Part of this is a reflection of our changing New Zealand society; the result of people from other parts of the world choosing to settle here and making New Zealand their home. It is also the result of an increasing understanding about the world we live in.
Of course, religious diversity confronts us with many challenges. The place of religion itself in the public arena, the accommodation of various religious practices in public institutions such as schools and universities, or the real fear of religious conflict are just some of the questions that have no ready answers and require serious consideration.
“The Multi-faith Conference: Uni-Diversity: The challenges of Change” will seek to address some of these concerns. The experiences and expertise of our international and local speakers from a variety of perspectives on religion will challenge us. More than this, I believe they will point to a creative way forward which will enable the wisdom of the many religious traditions to enrich and inform our modern age.
I sincerely hope you can join us.
Rev. Uesifili Unasa
University of Auckland