Dr. Kamran Mofid
Dr. Kamran Mofid’s Story
Dr. Kamran Mofid, who holds dual British and Canadian nationality, was born in Tehran, Iran in 1952, received his BA and MA in economics from the University of Windsor, ontario, Canada, in 1980 and 1982 respectively. In 1986 he was awarded his doctorate in economics from the University of Birmingham, UK. In 2001 he received a Certificate in Education in Pastoral Studies at Plater College, Oxford. From 1980 onwards he has been teaching and supervising undergraduate and graduate students in development economics, business studies, international business and the political economy of the Middle East.
He has also acted as external examiner for undergraduate and PhD research thesis at different universities. In recent years Dr. Mofid has developed short courses, seminars and workshops on economics and theology, the economics of the common good, religions & globalisation, altruism &service: Islam and Christianity in dialogue, business ethics& corporate social responsibility, spiritual economics and non-violent conflict resolution and an inter-faith perspective on globalisation.
He has been a frequent speaker at major international conferences in Europe, United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, Russia, Kenya and the Middle East. Dr. Mofid’s work is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on Economics, Politics, International Relations, Theology, Culture, Ecology, Ethics and Spirituality. Dr. Mofid’s writings have appeared in leading scholarly journals, popular magazines and newspapers. His books include Development Planning in Iran: From Monarchy to Islamic Republic (1987), The Economic Consequences of the Gulf war (1990), Globalisation for the Common Good (2002) which has been translated into Japanese and was published in May 2003 by Don Bosco-sha, Tokyo, and Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility and Globalisation for the Common Good (March, 2003).
Dr. Mofid has been invited to speak on his research and publications at major international universities, amongst them: Oxford; School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS); Manchester; Glasgow; Sussex (First and Second US/European School on Global Security and Arms Control); Durham; Exeter; Columbia (New York); University of California at Berkeley; Michigan (Ann Arbor); George Mason (Fairfax, Virginia); Sophia (Tokyo); Hosei (Tokyo and London); Kyoto Sangyo; Reitaku (Japan); The Australian National University and the University of Queensland (Brisbane). Dr. Mofid has also been invited to present papers at well-known international think tanks, amongst them: Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security (Ottawa); Institute of Developing Economies (Tokyo); International Energy Forum (Tokyo); The Japanese Institute of Middle Eastern Economies (Tokyo); Japan Cooperation Centre for the Middle East; Idemitsu Kosan (Tokyo); Institute for International Economic Studies (Tokyo); Africa Research and Resource Forum, Nairobi; American Business Council of Dubai and World Trade Club of Dubai.
In 1994, at the personal invitation of the late George Bull OBE, the former Director of the Anglo-Japanese Economic Institute, Dr. Mofid joined the Advisory Committee of the International Minds Forum and its journal International Minds. In collaboration with George Bull and in association with International Minds Forum, the Anglo-Japanese Economic Institute and Coventry Cathedral, Dr. Mofid organised and convened many international conferences in Coventry, including: Japan and the U.K. Economy, Forgiveness and Reconciliation; NAFTA and the EU; Japan and the Global Economy; and Iran and the Emerging Global Order.
They also together instigated and co-founded a Centre for the Study of Forgiveness and Reconciliation at Coventry and as part of its work, in association with the Ambassadors’ Lecture Series, which they had founded already, major international speakers such as the former presidents Mrs. Mary Robinson, F.W. de Klerk and Ambassadors of Japan, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Mexico and Canada were invited to deliver lectures in Coventry on the need for dialogue and mutual respect among different cultures and civilisations. At the suggestions of George, and the support of Canon Oestreicher and Provost John Petty of Coventry Cathedral, Dr. Mofid received an invitation from Sir Richard Branson to accompany the Coventry delegation (City and Cathedral) to Hiroshima for the unveiling ceremony of the Statue of Reconciliation at Hiroshima Peace Museum.
In 2002, at the personal invitation of Sir Sigmund Sternberg, co-founder of The Three Faiths Forum, (an inter-faith dialogue forum for the three Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam) Dr. Mofid joined its Advisory Committee.
In 2002 he founded an annual international conference on An Inter-faith Perspective on Globalisation for the Common Good. The Inaugural Conference took place in Oxford and in 2003 it was held in St. Petersburg, Russia. The 2004 conference was held in Dubai. The 2005 conference was held in Nairobi and Kericho, Kenya. The 2006 Conference was held at Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii, and the 2007 Conference will be held at Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey. Future conferences are currently under consideration.
Moreover, he convened a Programme on “An Inter-faith Perspective on Globalisation for the Common Good” at The Parliament of the World’s Religions conference in Barcelona during 7-13 July 2004. At the invitation of The Hommes de Parole Foundation, Paris, Dr. Mofid was invited to participate at and comment on his work- An Inter-faith Perspective on Globalisation for the Common Good- at the First World Congress “Imams and Rabbis for Peace” which was hosted at the Egmont Palace in Brussels, January 3-6, 2005. At the invitation of Dialogue Eurasia Platform and the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Mofid gave the Opening Address at the International Symposium, “From Terrorism to Global Ethics: Religions & Peace”, Moscow, June, 7-8, 2005.
At the invitation of the City of Philadelphia- hosting a Social Issues Series- “Ending Poverty in Africa: What Role should the G8 Play? What Can Americans Do?” as part of the City’s Live 8 activities, in association with the Centre for Global Negotiations, Philadelphia, Dr Mofid gave two keynote lectures on “Globalisation for the Common Good and Africa: A Continent of Hope and Inspiration”, (Arch street United Methodist Church, July 2, 2005) and “An Inter-faith Perspective on Globalisation for the Common Good: The Long Walk to Justice”, (First United Methodist Church of Germantown, July 3, 2005).
Dr. Mofid has been a frequent speaker on the BBC World Service, BBC Coventry and BBC Radio Oxford and on occasions he has been interviewed for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and The Voice of America.
Dr. Mofid is currently carrying out research on the relationship between economics, spirituality, ethics, cultures, faiths and globalisation. These are highlighted in his co-authored recently published book, Promoting the Common Good: Bringing Economics and Theology Together: A Theologian and an Economist in Dialogue, Rev. Marcus Braybrooke and Kamran Mofid, Foreword by Richard Harries, the Bishop of Oxford and , Epilogue by Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohinder Singh, ( Shepheard-Walwyn, London, June 2005).
Dr. Mofid is seeking to establish The Centre for the Study of Globalisation for the Common Good.
Kamran lives in Coventry with his wife Annie and their two sons, Kevin and Paul.
Globalisation for the Common Good: How It All Began:
THE ISTANBUL DECLARATION
An Interfaith Perspective on Globalisation for the Common Good:
The Sixth Annual International Conference
“A Non-Violent Path to Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding”
Istanbul 2007 • Fatih University
“All roads lead to Istanbul.” Meeting place of two continents and capital of two empires [the Byzantine and the Ottoman], Istanbul has been a crossroads of cultures for nearly 1800 years. The city offers a powerful metaphor for understanding and reconciliation between East and West. We gather here on the beautiful campus of Fatih University, grateful for their warm hospitality and support. We come together from many countries, six faiths, and countless areas of expertise to continue our exploration of pathways to Globalisation for the Common Good. In Turkey we experience the vital bio-diversity of the Earth and the rich cultural diversity of humankind. Our time here has been richly inspiring and profoundly motivating. It has yielded a very fruitful dialogue.
In this sixth international conference we affirm our shared commitment to non-violent conflict resolution and the building of cultures of peace around the world. The urgency of the challenge is particularly apparent in a region of the world that is so tragically afflicted by violence. The time has come for concrete new democratic and non-violent strategies that reflect global, regional, and local cultural and spiritual realities.
We recognize the deep-seated human desire for harmony in diversity, the source of our strength. We strongly acknowledge the interdependence of peace with justice and ecological sustainability. We recognize the urgent need for dialogue not only among the religions but also between religion and the sciences and between the religious and secular spheres. The strong engagement of these dimensions of human endeavor is vital if we are to address the critical issues that arise in the wake of globalisation.
We believe that education is the key that unlocks the door to globalisation for the common good. We call in particular for approaches to education that nurture interreligious and intercultural understanding, awareness of interdependence, moral values, and global citizenship. These essential elements shape personal decisions of social consequence, concern for the well being of others, and respect for other human beings and for the whole of the planetary community.
The movement from the myth of redemptive violence to the new story of restorative justice has informed our inquiry and inspired our deliberations. We urge the recognition of the spiritual dimension of the global dilemma in the early 21st century and of the spiritual component that must be present in the solutions we attempt.
We believe that enduring change emerges through the cooperative activity of men and women. Visionary activists must therefore work towards the evolutionary social transformation of fundamental values, especially those bearing on the empowerment of women.
We strongly acknowledge the vital importance of the following critical challenges for the 21st century. Each is a source of violence. But as we address each urgent issue, we open up a wellspring of peace. The path to that end leads through respectful encounter with the other, open dialogue, and cooperative common action to address the problems that face us all in the 21st century.
• Global poverty, hunger, disease, and unmet human life needs
• International militarization and obscene levels of military spending
• Unsustainable economic, political, cultural, and ecological structures of power
• Social and economic injustice and the systematic violation of universal human rights
• Worldwide gender inequity in the social, economic, political, legal, and religious spheres
• Coercive violence against women and children, including the horror of children forced into combat
• Rampant ecological degradation and disregard for the sacredness of all life
• Intercultural and interreligious ignorance, mistrust, fear, and hatred
We must strengthen the influence of the majority of humans that wish to live in peace. We strongly endorse efforts to combine our collective intelligence to build globalization from the bottom-up: creating a global consensus of commitment to the common good. In this way, we declare our global sovereignty and claim our global citizenship for the first time.
We urge the development of consensus for a common global action plan, beginning with a multistakeholder consultation process, and culminating in a common vision for ending poverty, reversing climate change, financing sustainable development and creating structural reforms in global trade, finance, and energy policy.
As committed participants in the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative [GCGI] we
commit our individual and group support to the following:
• To create a network of organizations whose aims resonate with those of GCGI. This Internet based
network will facilitate the sharing of ideas, information, and courses of constructive action.
• To develop and maintain – on the GCGI web site and in the Journal of Globalization for the
Common Good – a dynamic list of “what’s working”: initiatives, projects, and civil society
organizations that are making a significant contribution to the common good.
• To explore ways to encourage young persons from around the world to become actively engaged with Globalisation for the Common Good. This will include participation in future conferences, international exchange programs, interreligious and intercultural study and dialogue, and other initiatives.
Globalization for the Common Good has come a long way over the past six years. Six successful conferences and an increasingly influential journal and web site mark our progress. We have cultivated a diverse group of scholars, leaders of civil society, religious and spiritual leaders, and global activists for intense explorations of a value-centered vision of globalisation and the common good. We invite all others who share our vision to join us on the path to a better global future.
Globalisation for the Common Good, at Fatih University, Istanbul
8 July 2007
Today, September 30th, 2007 is Rumi's, Persian philosopher, mystic of Islam and planetary poet, 800th Birthday
Today, September 30th, 2007 is Rumi's 800th Birthday, a day of global celebration and joy.
Rumi was born on 30th of September 1207 in Balkh in today’s Afghanistan, then within the domains of Persian Empire, and died in Konya, in present-day Turkey where he spent many years of his precious life.
Molana Jalal-e Din Mohammad Balkhi, commonly known as Rumi, was a Persian philosopher and mystic of Islam. His doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love. Rumi has been hailed by western scholars as the greatest mystical poet of all time. Translations of Rumi’s poetry brought this great Persian poet international recognition such that he is recognized among the world’s leading figures in 2005 and 2006 and UNESCO has announced the year 2007 as the International Rumi Year, during which some special ceremonies and programs have been held all over the world to commemorate this great Persian poet.
Prof. Coleman Barks who has translated many of Rumi's works into English and has played a central role in making the Sufi mystic Rumi one of the most popular poets in the world, has noted that, "The words that came so spontaneously carry a broad range of religious awareness: the meditative silence and no-mind of Zen, the open heart and compassion of Jesus, the stern discipline of Muhammad, the convivial humor of Taoists, the crazy wisdom and bright intelligence of the Jewish Hassidic masters. Rumi is a planetary poet, loved the world over for the grandeur of his surrender and for the freedom and grace of his poetry. He was nurtured within the Islamic tradition, the Persian language, and a long line of Sufis, but it is his connection with Shams of Tabriz that lets his work transcend definition and doctrine. The poetry feels as though it belongs to all". For Rumi above all, love is the religion, and the universe is the book. He wrote: "The religion of love is apart from all religions. For lovers the only religion and creed is God", or "The lamps are different, but the Light is the same: it comes from Beyond".
A few years back, when I came to realise that there was something amiss with all the things that I had learnt about Western modern economics, it was Rumi and other Persian Sufis such as Sa'adi and Hafez who came to my assistance in founding Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative, to bridge the divide between East and West. For that I cannot be grateful enough.
Finally, I want to share with you my favorite poem by Rumi, very relevant and timely, given today's world situation. May this poem be a source of inspiration to all those who are dividing and separating God's people for their own selfish, arrogant reasons.
What is to be done, O Moslems? For I do not recognise myself.
I am neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Gabr, nor Moslem.
I am not of the East, nor of the West, nor of the land, nor of the sea;
I am not of Nature’s mint, nor of the circling heaven.
I am not of earth, nor of water, nor of air, nor of fire;
I am not of the empyrean, nor of the dust, nor of existence, nor of entity.
I am not of India, nor of China, nor of Bulgaria, nor of Saqsin.
I am not of the kingdom of ’Iraqian, nor of the country of Khorasan
I am not of this world, nor of the next, nor of Paradise, nor of Hell.
I am not of Adam, nor of Eve, nor of Eden and Rizwan.
My place is the Placeless; my trace is the Traceless;
’Tis neither body nor soul, for I belong to the soul of the Beloved.
I have put duality away; I have seen that the two worlds are one;
One I seek, one I know, one I see, one I call.
He is the first, He is the last, He is the outward, He is the inward;
I am intoxicated with Love’s cup, the two worlds have passed out of my ken;
If once in my life I spent a moment without thee,
From that time and from that hour I repent of my life.
If once in this world I win a moment with thee,
I will trample on both worlds; I will dance in triumph for ever.
Kamran Mofid PhD (ECON)
Founder, Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative
Co-editor, Journal of Globalisation for the Common Good
Globalisation for the Common Good, Melbourne 2008
Underlined by me: Leo Semashko