SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah's Tanner Center for Nonviolent Human Rights Advocacy has dedicated its conference next week to the role of religion in building peace.

The conference will begin at the Salt Lake Main Library at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, with a keynote lecture by Mohammed Abu-Nimer titled “Religion and Peace in Israel-Palestine: Does it Need a Miracle?” Abu-Nimer has conducted research on issues around interreligious conflict resolution, particularly the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is an associate professor at American University’s School of International Service in international peace and conflict resolution, and director of its Peacebuilding and Development Institute.

On Thursday, Feb. 21 beginning at 8 a.m. there will be a full schedule of panel discussions, all held at the Officers’ Club in Fort Douglas on the U. campus: “Peace in the Middle East,” “Peacebuilding and Cultural Values” and “Peacebuilding in Practice.” There also will be a religious intergroup discussion over lunch.

The full schedule, with a complete list of panelists, is available online at