Inaugural Global Dialogue Prize to two Iranian philosophers
At a press conference today, it was announced that the inaugural Global Dialogue Prize of 500,000 Danish kroners (app. 100,000 US dollars) will be given to the Iranian philosopher Darius Shayegan and fellow philosopher and former Iranian president Mohammed Khatami for developing and promoting the idea of “dialogue among civilizations.”
The aim of the Global Dialogue Prize is to honour outstanding research on intercultural dialogue and value studes, as well as outstanding achievements in applying such research to promote global dialogue on values and to increase intercultural understanding.
Between them, the two prize winners have done both. Darius Shayegan coined the term “dialogue of civilizations” in the 1970‘s and developed the primary theoretical bases of the idea. Mohammad Khatami further developed the concept during his term as president for Iran from 1997 to 2005, and it gained global currency when the United Nations accepted Khatami’s proposal to proclaim 2001 as the “Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations.”
The winners have been selected by an anonymous group of international experts and have been endorsed as fulfilling the criteria of the award by an award committee consisting of 12 prominent research from around the world - including professor Fred Dallmeyr and professor Hans Köchler who have been presenting at the conference.
“President Khatami and Professor Shayegan are ideal candidates for receiving the Global Dialogue Prize 09. Both individuals have made stellar contributions to the promotion of global understanding and the prevention of possible clashes of civilization. Both are respected intellectuals both at home and in the rest of the world,” Fred Dallmayr said at the press conference.
The prize is sponsored by the Poul Due Jensen Foundation (Grundfos), and the Award ceremony will take place in Aarhus on 27 January 2010.
Darius Shayegan has already accepted the prize and will come to Aarhus, but organisers are still waiting for a response from Mohamed Khatami.