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Published on Apr 23, 2012
Simon Fraser University's Centre for Dialogue presents world-renowned author and 2008 TED Prize recipient Karen Armstrong for her feature lecture, "What is Religion?" and inaugural "State of the Charter for Compassion Address". The lecture and address took place on March 22, 2012. It was hosted by Simon Fraser University's Centre for Dialogue in partnership with the Charter for Compassion, TED Prize, and Greater Vancouver Compassion Network.
This event took place as part of 12 Days of Compassion, a Vancouver-wide conversation on compassion built around the SFU Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue. Armstrong's visit reached thousands of participants and generated 5500 person-hours in programming to discuss the role of compassion in the lives and communities of participants. The visit also resulted in the formation of 61 book clubs, where 600 members read and discussed Armstrong's book, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.
Armstrong is considered one of the world's most thought-provoking and original public thinkers on the role of religion in historical and contemporary life. Her poignant writing and captivating talks have sparked worldwide debate and respectful dialogue.
In 2008, Armstrong was awarded the TED Prize in support of her call for a council of religious and spiritual leaders to draw up a Charter for Compassion. That document is now endorsed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, and has accumulated more than 85,000 supporters worldwide.