The International Congress on Spiritual-Religious Counselling-Care will be held on April 7-10, 2016, in Istanbul, Turkey. The webpage of the conference, www.mdrk.org displays the event’s programme at the top left corner of the page in Turkish and English).
Religion has contributed to civil society in variety of areas like social, cultural, economic, solidarity/cooperation and humanitarian aids etc. It has been a source of inspiration and motivation to mobilize individuals, communities and institutions in order to cooperate, make solidarity, and social and moral support. However, religion, in the 20th and at the beginning 21st century, has often been related to and identified with extremism, violence and terror in the global world. In this correlation and identification, religion in general and Islam in particular is closely associated and portrayed with these negative stereotypes in question. This has paved the way to negative and unfavourable views and perceptions towards religion in both national and global public spheres. A number of extreme, fundamentalist, and militant religious and political movements have hijacked, captured and used religious beliefs, spiritual and moral values in order to legitimise their ideologies, programmes, perspectives and aims. In other words, they abused religious beliefs and spiritual – moral values. Unfortunately, to bring to light the positive and human side/aspect of religion have usually been neglected. The contributions and services of religious beliefs, and spiritual and moral values and their practices to civil society have largely been ignored at both individual and societal levels and were not given their deserved coverages and credits in politics and media. Certainly, positivist educational policies and strict and authoritarian secularist administrations have played a significant role in various countries.
This international congress on religious-spiritual counselling-care aims to put forward the positive aspects of religious, spiritual and moral values and evaluate their contributions to as well as to raise awareness of the services they have offered and are still providing to civil society at individual, institutional and societal levels. It intends particularly to focus on, highlight and examine how religious and spiritual-moral values have played/still play a significant role and function in reforming inmates in prisons, being a source of hope and morale for patients in hospitals, providing morale and offering communal spirit and atmosphere for lonely and elderly people in social services, motivating national/civic and patriotic values, and beliefs for military personnel in army, and in relationships and communication in family therapy.
The congress will also address to analyse problems encountered with and policies applied for while offering and providing services in areas in question. Again such a gathering will bring scholars and professionals together who do research on and work in Religious-Spiritual counselling and care in different traditions, religions and political cultures throughout the world as well as to share and exchange their experiences and forge cooperation in shared and common interest areas. Finally, the gathering and cooperation provide an opportunity for official and conventional religious and civil authorities how to improve and enhance their services and programmes in their respective and responsible institutions.
The conference themes will cover the place and function of Religious-Spiritual Counselling and Care in Prison Services, Health Services, Military and Social Services (Nursing Home, Orphanage, Shelters and Family Therapy, etc.)
- 21 December 2015 Abstract Submission Deadline
- 4 January 2016 Announcement for Accepted Papers
- 20 March 2016 Full text copy submission
- 7-10 April 2016 Congress Date