Dr. Cesare Zucconi in Jena (23rd February, 2017)

Recently the JCRS had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Cesare Zucconi, the general secretary of the Community of Sant'Egidio (Rome), who gave a lecture called "Road to Peace. Religions and Culture in Dialogue", which was held on February 23rd 2017 at the Faculty of Theology of Jena.
In his speech, Dr. Zucconi highlighted the following two points:

  • The importance of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace
  • The obstacles that war represents for peace. "War, mother of all poverty" (Quote of Andrea Riccardi, the founder of the Community)

In order to show how powerful dialogue can be, Dr. Zucconi recalled the history of Mozambique: October 4th 1992 is a crucial day for the African country. On this very day a peace agreement was made, which put an end to Mozambiques terrible civil war, which started in 1977. The humanitarian and mediating efforts of the Community of Sant'Egidio played a key role in achieving the peace treaty of 1992. Since then, the country experienced major developments, such as democratic elections and the discovery of economic resources.
Furthermore, Dr. Zucconi turned our attention to the annual event "Friedensgebete der Weltreligionen", which will take place from 10th until 12 of September 2017 in Münster and Osnabruck (North Rhine - Westphalia). For further information check the following link

Here some moments of the conference:

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Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner introduces Dr. Zucconi                                  In the first row, from left to right, André Zempelburg and Prof. Dr. Leiner


                                                      Dr. Zucconi talks about the success of the humanitarian efforts of the Community

For information on Dr. Cesare Zucconi and the Community of Sant'Egidio:


  • Cesare Zucconi is the general secretary of the Community of Sant'Egidio.
  • The Community of Sant'Egidio is a "Church Public Lay Association". It counts currently around 60.000 members in more than 70 countries. Founder of the Community is Andrea Riccardi, who in 1968, when he was just 18, gathered a group of roman high-school students. The name "Sant'Egidio" derives from the Roman Church of Sant'Egidio (in the neighbourhood of Trastevere, in Rome), first meeting place, and then permanent headquarter of the community.

                         The Church of Sant'Egidio in Trastevere (Rome), headquarter of the Community 

The community is based on following principles:

  •  Prayer
  • Communication of the Gospel
  • Solidarity with poor people, meant as voluntary service, based on the assertion of Pope John XXIII: Church is "Church for all and particularly poor people".
  • Ecumenism, as search for unity among Christians of the world
  • Dialogue, considered as an essential tool for cooperation among cultures and religions