Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

The Fordham University Center for Ethics Education & Center on Religion and Culture

Reflections on 9/11 and its Afterlife
An Interdisciplinary Conference

Tuesday, 12 April 2011
McNally Amphitheatre | Lincoln Center Campus
140 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023   (map)

As we approach the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, debate over methods of preventing future harms while preserving our moral integrity has raised complex questions that touch upon issues of rights, redress and our common humanity.

Featuring a distinguished multidisciplinary group of policy makers, theologians, legal scholars, moral philosophers and social scientists, this conference sought to advance public dialogue and moral understandings as the country continues to grapple with these tensions.

TRANSCRIPTS (pdf format)
Introduction Panel 1 Panel 2
Panel 3
Panel 4

Video proceedings
Video 1 (Wecome, Panels 1 -2)

Video 2 (Panels 3-4)

9:00 a.m.             WELCOME and CONFERENCE OVERVIEW

Joseph M. McShane, S.J.
President, Fordham University

Celia B. Fisher
Marie Ward Doty Chair and Professor of Psychology, and Director, Center for Ethics Education, Fordham University

9:20 a.m.         PANEL 1: Religion & Terrorism: Context & Perspective
Moderator: David Myers, Associate Professor of History, Fordham University

"Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict: Pathways to Terrorism"
Clark McCauley
Rachel C. Hale Professor of Sciences and Mathematics,
Co-Director, Solomon Asch Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict,
Bryn Mawr College

        Professor McCauley will describe twelve mechanisms of radicalization to argue that
        ideology and religion are more rationalization than cause of political violence.
"Sanctified Terror"
James W. Jones
Distinguished Professor of Religion and Adjunct Professor of Clinical Psychology,
Rutgers University
Senior Research Fellow, Center on Terrorism,
John Jay College

        Professor Jones will discuss religions' sponsorship of terrorism and the difference it
"The Role of Terror in the Religious Imagination"
Scott Appleby
Professor of History,
John M. Regan Jr. Director,
Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies
University of Notre Dame

        Religion has possessed and exercised the capacity to terrify and to terrorize, alongside
        and apart from acts ofpolitical violence committed, inspired or justified by religious
        actors. What have been the purposes and goals of religion in its terrifying mode, and
        what affinities, if any, does contemporary “religious terrorism” have with these purposes
        and goals?

10:45 a.m.     PANEL 2: Forgiveness & Moral Repair: Religion & Philosophy
Moderator and Discussant: Lisa Cataldo, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, Fordham University 

"At the Root, the Need for Hope"
Margaret Walker
Donald J. Schuenke Chair in Philosophy,
Marquette University

        Grave wrongs, shocking violence, and the traumas of terror most obviously undermine or
        destroy trust, as terrorism specifically intends to do. At a deeper level, the restoration of
        trust depends on hope, which moves us toward a good which might seem, at best, just
        barely possible. In the 9/11 context, it is important to remember that the need for hope
        faces very differentobstacles for those whose relationships to the events of that day and
        its aftermath are very different. Still, a shared hope for some kind of justice in the
        aftermath of 9/11 events has been profoundly disappointed.
"Embracing the Sacred Messiness: The Interdependence of Moral Outrage and Forgiveness"

President of Clal - The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
What happens in a society when one part of the body  politic becomes the exclusive conainter for fear and moral outrage and theother becomes the container for hope andforgiveness?  A disconnect that ten years after 9/11 leaves us at war in two Muslim country, with greater suspicion of American Muslims than ever, tighter and more invasive security at airports, and a sense that something is deadly wrong.  Can we heal the disconnect?

1:15 p.m.     PANEL 3: Responses to Terrorism:  Law, Politics and the Media
Moderator: Russell Pearce, Professor of Law, Edward & Marilyn Bellet Chair in Legal Ethics, Morality, and Religion, Fordham University Law School
"Responding to Terrorism and Terrorists 'in a Spirit of Brotherhood'?"
Michael Perry
Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law,
Emory University
University Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law and Peace Studies,
University of San Diego

        According to the morality of international human rights--a morality to which the United
        "in a spirit of brotherhood".  What are the implications of this conviction for how the
        United States has responded, and for how it should respond, to terrorism and terrorists?
"Combating Extremism with a Morally Sustainable Strategy"

M. A. Muqtedar Khan
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science and International Relations
University of Delaware

"From National Solidarity to Partisan Acrimony: Politics and Patriotism"

E.J. Dionne, Jr.
Columnist, The Washington Post
Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
University Professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture, Georgetown University
We seemed to follow a trajectory as a country from genuine solidarity to partisan acrimony to a deep ideological divide over Islam. How did this happen, and will we ever have a chance to rediscover the sense of solidarity that the initial response to the attacks created?
2:30 p.m.                      PANEL 4:  Continuing the Conversation:  Our Post 9/11 Future 
Moderator: Peter Steinfels, Co-director, Fordham Center on Religion and Culture, Fordham  University
During the final panel, all speakers will have the opportunity to challenge, respond, and debate one another.  It will also include audience questions and comments.
3:45 p.m.                      RECEPTION

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