Winter-New Year School
The Department of Religion and Human Values has held the maiden “Winter-New Year School” under the theme, ‘Religion and Human Security in Africa”.
The Winter-New Year School which was hosted by the Department of Religion and Human Values was held in collaboration with the University of Groningen (UG), Netherlands to deliberate and discuss on issues relating to Religion and Human Security in Africa.
Giving the keynote address, the immediate past Pro Vice-Chancellor, Prof. K. T. Oduro, said, the Winter-New Year School would create an opportunity for African scholars and civil society to reflect on human security issues in Africa within the context of Religion. He also noted that it was through a rigorous unprejudiced assessment of the role played by Religion and religious practices in promoting Human Security across the continent, that problems and challenges associated with managing Human Security in Africa could be effectively and efficiently addressed.
Prof. Oduro Urged participants to give high priority to the Human Security, adding that “A development without security, peace and comfort of the citizens is meaningless”. He, therefore, called on participants of Winter-New Year School to interrogate “proliferation of commercial and business-focused Religious sects in Africa and the threats they pose to Human Security”. He commended the organisers of the Winter-New Year School for choosing a theme that was relevant to Africa in contemporary time.
Dean of Faculty of Arts Address
The Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. J. B. A. Afful who chaired the opening ceremony welcomed participants to the conference and urged them to take an active part in the various sessions for the five-day conference. He was hopeful that the conference would serve as a platform for participants to interact and share knowledge among themselves to promote intellectual discourse on the theme and subthemes for the programme.
Delegates for the School
Speaking at the programme, the head of Department of Religion and Human Values, Prof. Samuel Awuah-Nyamekye, noted that there were 32 delegates from six countries namely Germany, The Netherlands, Zimbabwe, France, Nigeria, Ireland Ghana for the conference. He commended Prof. Kocku Mensah von Stukrad- a Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Groningen for playing a significant role to help realise the collaboration between UCC and UG. He also acknowledged the efforts of Dr. Joram Tarusariran and Dr. Brenda Bartelink and Willard Bouwmeester for assisting Prof. Stukrad to secure funding for the organisation of the Winter/New Year School in Cape Coast. He further expressed gratitude UG, Local Organising Committee and participants who contributed immensely to the success of the conference.
Participants Urged to Network Among Themselves
The Director, Centre for International Education, Prof. Rosemond Bohene, urged participants to be active in all the sessions of the event. “We should make use of such conferences to create laudable networks to promote global connections,” she said.
Presentation and Workshop Sessions
Some of the topics presented and discussed for the various sessions of the Winter School included Value prisms of health security seeking behaviour in Ghana; Religion in discourses of sexuality and physical security; Beyond the Academic World;
Others were “Environment challenges and the role of Religion; Themes and challenges for the study of Religion, The Bible in the life of the Ghanaian”. Some of the sessions were also dedicated to Skills workshops and Masters or Doctor of Philosophy thesis.