March 2, 2007
Nostra Aetate Lecture Series: Kjell Magne Bondevik
Kjell Magne Bondevik, former Prime Minister of Norway, spoke at Georgetown University on the topic of "Interreligious Dialogue: Seeking Understanding in Our Age." Part of the Nostra Aetate Lecture Series, this event was cosponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and the Office of the President of Georgetown University. Nostra Aetate (In Our Age) is the "Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions" of the Second Vatican Council, promulgated by Pope Paul VI.
Kjell Magne Bondevik, an ordained Lutheran minister, served as Prime Minister of Norway from 1997 to 2000, and from 2001 to 2005, making him Norway's longest serving non-Socialist prime minister since World War II. While serving his first term in office, Bondevik oversaw a fragile coalition, but eventually the stress and pressure of maintaining the coalition led Bondevick to fall into a depressive state. Consequently, Bondevik took a break from his duties for a few days in 1998, becoming the first head of state to publicly leave office for mental health reasons. From 2006-2007, he served as the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa. Currently, Bondevik works as the President of the Oslo Centre for Peace and Human Rights, located in Minnesota, which promotes peace and reconciliation through interfaith dialogue as a means of preventing conflict. Bondevik participated in a discussion on the role of religious actors at the Alliance of Civilizations forum held in Madrid in 2008.