Education

Landegg Academy inaugurates new graduate studies program

WIENACHT, Switzerland - In ceremonies on 29 September 1997, Landegg Academy formally inaugurated a new program of graduate studies, marking a new phase in the institution's development as an international academic center.

The new program will offer a Master of Arts Degree in eight areas: the Arts, Conflict Resolution, Education, Leadership and Management, Psychology, Religion, and Women and Civilization. The program will be highly flexible, offering full-time, part-time or distance learning modes of study, aimed at serving a diverse and internationally far-flung body of students.

Central to all of the programs will be the concept of "applied spirituality," said Dr. Hossain B. Danesh, Landegg's rector, who delivered an inaugural address entitled: "The University of the Future - Fostering an Integrative Paradigm of Knowledge."

Today, university education encourages a separation of religion from science and discards religious views and their accompanying ethical codes. The concept of applied spirituality rejects this dichotomous approach to knowledge and replaces it with an integrative paradigm.

— H.B. Danesh, Rector, Landegg Academy

Dr. Danesh explained that most of the world's great universities were originally founded by religions. Today, however, university education encourages a separation of religion from science and discards religious views and their accompanying ethical codes, regarding them with suspicion, he said. "The concept of applied spirituality rejects this dichotomous approach to knowledge and replaces it with an integrative paradigm," he said.

The inauguration was preceded by a conference on "Converging Realities: On Integrating the Scientific and the Spiritual." The keynote address to that conference was delivered by Professor Wang Yiqui, the executive vice-president of Peking University in China. In his talk, which was "The Humanistic Spirit in Science Education," Professor Wang identified five areas in which science education can become humanized: inspiration, history, beauty, social consequences, and the methodology of scientific thinking.

Also in attendance during the inauguration was Madame Rúhíyyih Rabbání, the leading dignitary in the Bahá'í Faith. Landegg Academy is sponsored by the Bahá'í community of Switzerland.


Family conference in Albania

TIRANA, Albania - More than 200 people attended a conference on the theme of "A Healthy Family for a Healthy Society," held in December 1997 and sponsored by the Albanian Bahá'í community.

Speakers addressed topics ranging from dealing with stress and violence in a family context to the creation of healthy marriages and an exploration of new models for the family.

Representatives from the Ministry of Health and some 17 non-governmental organizations were present at the conference, which also received coverage in the Albanian news media.

Organized by an ad hoc women's task force, the conference included artistic programs in the evening.

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