Kazakhstan Colloquium

September 19- 20, 2002
National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Almaty, Kazakhstan

Institute of the Oriental Studies of the Ministry of Education & Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Purpose of Colloquium:

The main purpose of the colloquium was to bring together, in Central Asia, scholars who share an interest in Education, Science and Religion. The colloquium explored general issues relating to education and religion in the region, at all levels, but also took the opportunity to open up dialogue between different universities in order to develop joint scientific and religious programs.


Central Asia is the point of convergence among European, Mediterranean, Indian, Persian, Turkish and Chinese civilizations. Encounters between these civilizations have given birth to violent confrontations, but also to original models of religious and cultural exchange. Culturally Central Asia is a mosaic of traditions where nomadic tribes have learned to peacefully co-exist with the sedentary populations, where Shamanism has built strong links with Islam through Sufism.

Since the fall of Soviet rule in 1991, Central Asia has found itself at a crossroads—

striving to build a community of people from different political and religious backgrounds while seeking to avoid political and religious extremism. Bringing together scholars from various religious and ethnic backgrounds, the Kazakhstan Colloquium addressed several objectives:

  • To promote dialogue between science and religion departments in universities in the region through the establishment of an UNESCO Chair specifically devoted to the theme of Science & Religion,
  • To encourage an exchange in higher education that would ensure continued research & cooperation between religious and scientific departments,
  • To promote religious tolerance and peace in the region, and
  • To formulate and adopt a declaration / recommendation on the basis of the discussion.

Featured Speakers:

Munawar Anees, Interdisciplinary University of Paris
Artur Artemyev, M. Tynyshpaev Kazak Academy, Kazakhstan
Khalil Chamcham, Faculté des Sciences, L’Université Hassan II Aïn Chock de Casablanca
Ramanath Cowsik, Indian Institute of Astrophysics
Anne Dambricourt Malasse, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle
Pranab Das, Elon College
Michael Denton, University of Otago
Absattar Derbisali, Had of the Spiritual Board of Kazakhstani Muslims
Zaur Djalilov, Institute of Oriental Studies, Kazakhstan
Lola Dodkhudoeva, General Secretary of Tajikistan Ntl. Commission, UNESCO
Fariduni Dzhunajdi, Author and cultural historian, Iran
Oves Gundagiev, Central Asia and the East Institute of History, Turkmenistan
William Hurlbut, Stanford University
Muzaffar Iqbal, Center for Islam and Science
Kenes S. Kuratov, Tien-Shan Astronomical Observatory, Kazakhstan
Ashirbek Muminov, Tashkent Government Institute of Oriental Studies, Kazakhstan
Alexei Nesturuk, Computing and Mathematics, University of Portsmouth
Vladimir Ploskih, Kirghiz-Russian Slavianic University, Kirgizstan
L.M. Singhvi , jurist, former president of the World Parliament of Religions, India
Jacques Vauthier, University of Paris, La Sorbonne