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On Thursday 5th, Friday 6th and Saturday 7th of April the 2018 ANU Religion Conference was held in the Hedley Bull Building. The theme of the conference was Sacred Sites/Sacred Stories: Global Perspectives.
Key topics discussed at the conference included the role of sacred sites in religious traditions, how sacred sites form part of the development of modern tourist industries, and the role of sacred sites in international relations. The conference also featured panels on Asian, Pacific, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives on sacred sites.
The conference was opened by College of Asia and the Pacific Dean Professor Michael Wesley on Thursday 5 April. The keynote speakers were Professor Eileen Barker from the London School of Economics, and Emeritus Professor Elizabeth Minchin from ANU.
The attendees came from across the globe, including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Israel, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand and the United States, including many PhD candidates and religious leaders.
The conference dinner was held at the Great Hall in University House and was preceded by a beautiful performance of traditional Indian music by Radha and Siva Kalyan.
On Saturday, participants were also treated to a tour of Canberra including the Telstra Tower, the Australian War Memorial, Parliament House and a visit to some friendly kangaroos, who charmed our international guests.
An edited collection will be produced with contributions from a number of conference attendees.
The committee would like to thank everyone who helped make the conference a success, especially the group of enthusiastic student volunteers.
ANU Religion Conference Committee: Dr David W. Kim, Dr Peter Friedlander, Associate Professor McComas Taylor, Dr Barbara Nelson, Dr Yuri Takahashi, Catherine Fisher