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Children, religion and the earth they will inherit by Mary McAleese

'Children, religion and the earth they will inherit'

In the last quarter of the twentieth century a radical new focus on childrens' rights culminated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is the most ratified convention in the history of the United Nations. Every member state of the UN is a State Party to the Convention with the exception of the United States. The Holy See which is the only religion to have UN Permanent Representative Status is a State Party. Among the rights the Convention insists belong to children are their right to freedom of conscience, opinion, belief and religion (including the right to change religion). How will these rights shape the childhoods of the twentyfirst century? In particular what do they mean for faith systems, education and parental rights?

The lecture will be followed by a Q&A.

The lecture will take place online on Thursday 22nd April, 17:30 – 18:45 (BST), and feature an introduction from principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, Peter Mathieson.

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Dr. Mary McAleese is currently Chancellor of Trinity College Dublin and Professor of Children, Law and Religion in the University of Glasgow. She was President of Ireland from 1997 until 2011, the first President to come from Northern Ireland where her family experienced first-hand the sectarian violence of The Troubles. The theme of her presidency was Building Bridges and her work for peace and reconciliation culminated in the historic state visit to Ireland by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II in May 2011. On retiring from office she returned to full-time study at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome obtaining a Licenciate and Doctorate in Canon Law. In 2019 she was awarded the Alfons Auer Ethics award of the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Tubingen..She is the author of "Reconciled being: Love in chaos"(1997), Building Bridges (2011), Collegiality in the Code of Canon Law (2014), Childrens’ Rights in Canon Law (2019) and Here’s the Story: a Memoir (2020).


This event may be recorded for promotional or recruitment materials for the University and University approved third parties. If you do not want to be in the recordings please contact the organiser at Any written questions or comments may be subject to Freedom of Information legislation.

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You will receive a link to watch the live event via email 48 hour prior.


Mary McAleese 

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