In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Ever Merciful


World Religions Conference 2008 - Speakers


Judaism / Christianity / Buddhism / Islam / back to Conference Main Page



Mr. David Perley, Moderator

David Perley is a Professor at the University of Toronto in the Department and Centre for the Study of Religion.


Mr. Len Rudner, Representing Judaism

Mr. Rudner is the Ontario regional director for the Canadian Jewish Congress. He is also a contributor to the National Post and has served as director of community relations for the CJC. He is a strong advocate for human rights and against racism and genocide in all forms. The Canadian Jewish Congress is an umbrella group representing Jewish organizations from around the country. Established in 1919, the CJC acts as a national voice for Jews on public affairs. Its aim is to defend the interest of the Jewish community and to promote human rights in Canada and abroad. He is a former vice-chair of the Race Relations Advisory Committee of the York Region District School Board and a current member of the community relations committee of the City of Vaughan.


Dr. Lois Wilson, Representing Christianity

Dr. Wilson was the first female Moderator of the United Church of Canada, serving as the leader of Canada’s largest Protestant denomination. This followed 15 year of service as an ordained minister in the United Church. She has also served as President of the World Council of Churches (1983-1991) and as an independent Canadian Senator (1998-2002). Dr. Wilson is a Companion of the Order of Canada, as well as a member of the Order of Ontario. Her autobiography, Turning the World Upside Down: A Memoir, was published in 1989. She is currently Ecumenist in Residence at the Toronto School of Theology.


Mr. Peter Timmerman, Representing Buddhism

Mr. Timmerman is Professor of Environmental Studies at York University with academic interests in environmental ethics, environmental conflict and coastal city management. He received his BA and MA from the University of Toronto. Professor Timmerman is a founding member of the Green Party and a member of the Canadian Forum on Religion and Ecology. He has been a Zen Buddhist for over 25 years and often appears on the TV show Faith Journal on CTS. Among his recent work is Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change, of which he was the editor.


Mr. Ansar Raza, Representing Islam

Mr. Raza is scholar and former Professor at the Ahmadiyya institute for Islamic Studies. No stranger to controversy, Mr. Raza extensively analyzes how religious teachings have been perverted by the irreligious actions of people who consider themselves believers. Mr. Raza is a published author of books on Islam as well as a regular contributor on the religious impact of contemporary issues. His articles are published in local magazines and newspapers. In his most recent work, Manji – Another Pawn Advanced, he responds to the attacks on Qur’anic teachings by writers such as Irshad Manji. 





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