Dr. Dariush Shayegan receives the 2009 Global Dialogue Prize

Press releases 2010

Iranian philosopher Dr. Dariush Shayegan was - as the first person ever - awarded the Global Dialogue Prize, an international humanities award.

The Global Dialogue Prize has been realised through a donation of DKK 500,000 (approx. 100,000 USD) from The Poul Due Jensen Foundation.

The Prize, based in Denmarkís second largest city of Aarhus, is awarded to persons excelling in research and knowledge presentation within the field of intercultural dialogue and the promotion of peaceful co-existence. The nomination and selection of candidates for the award has been conducted by a group of internationally renowned researchers. Sponsoring the award are Grundfos, the Municipality of Aarhus, Central Denmark Region, VisitAarhus and Aarhus University.

Dariush Shayegan has been awarded the prize for his extensive academic body of work which is widely respected and has been translated into several languages. As early as 1977, he organised an international conference on multicultural societies, and his concept of civilisational dialogue has gained many followers in the academic society. He writes with a unique scholarly breadth about the cultural history of Muslim countries as well as of India, Europe, China, Japan and Latin America. He is especially well known by fellow thinkers for his analyses of the cultural situation in contemporary Muslim societies.

`I am thrilled and honoured to accept the Global Dialogue Prize. What we were looking for in the nineteen seventies as a way out from our cultural dilemmas has now taken, by virtue of globalization and the electronic revolution, new forms of challenge. I see this award as a sign that our search goes on even today, and that both the East and the West are involved in our quest for solutions´, said Dr. Dariush Shayegan.

`Aarhus University has signed a declaration which decrees that it the university is a trustee of the European humanist tradition; its constant care is to attain universal knowledge; to fulfil its vocation it transcends geographical and political frontiers and affirms the vital need for different cultures to know and influence each other. The Global Dialogue Prize is in accordance with this ambition and so Aarhus University supports the award. I wish to congratulate Dr. Dariush Shayegan on receiving the inaugural award´, said Rector of Aarhus University, Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen.

`The Poul Due Jensen Foundation has elected to sponsor the Global Dialogue Prize because we believe in dialogue; not conflict. World views will always differ, but this does not mean that we should not communicate with each other. Dialogue leads to common understanding, increased economic activity, and improved living standards. We must be willing to lead a dialogue with each other in spite of political, cultural and religious differences. That is how international business works, and we believe it can be imported to other areas of life so we can avoid conflicts´, said the sponsor behind the award, Niels Due-Jensen of The Poul Due Jensen Foundation.

`I am thrilled that we this year ñ for the first time ever ñ can award The Global Dialogue Prize here in Aarhus´, said Mayor of the Municipality of Aarhus, Nicolai Wammen.

Read more about Dr. Dariush Shayegan on http://www.globaldialogueprize.org

More information

Anders Correll,
Senior Press Officer, Aarhus University
+45 2899 2235

Thomas Sorensen
Press Officer, Aarhus University
+45 8942 2479