Paths to Peace: Speaking to the Religious Other
Wednesdays, January 24 through March 27, 2023
(No class on March 6th, March 13)
12:30 to 2:00 PM
How do we all live together as diverse faith communities? What lessons can we learn from the past? In this era marked by polarization, building interfaith bridges is critical to a peaceful, positive, and productive coexistence. Our Spring Jewish Studies Signature class will utilize texts of great religious thought leaders to explore the building of interfaith bridges to peace.
This course will be team taught by Queens Chaplain Dr. Adrian Bird, who has a PhD from The University of Edinburgh in Global Christianity and formerly served as Affiliate Professor of Christian history at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, and Rabbi Judy Schindler who is currently writing her doctoral dissertation on “Pioneering Documents of Dialogue: Christian, Jewish and Muslim Milestones in Reaching Out to the Religious Other” in completing her doctorate in Hebrew Letters program at the Hebrew Union College.
It will be offered in person (with a Zoom link and recording for those who are traveling). The fee for the spring semester is $325 and includes resources and readings. Proceeds support the Stan Greenspon Center at Queens University. We do not want costs to be a barrier. Financial assistance is available. For information, contact Judy Schindlerj, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Session One, January 24, 2023
“The Many Meanings, History and Purpose of Dialogue and Building Interfaith Bridges of Understanding”
The session will explore a brief history of dialogue and seek to broadly define terms such as religious pluralism, religious diversity, and relativism. We will identify dialogue of the head, heart, and hands and explore the history of efforts to build interfaith bridges.
Session Two, January 31
Pioneering Documents of Dialogue: Christian, Jewish and Muslim Milestones in Reaching Out to the Religious Other
Following World War II and in the aftermath of the Holocaust, restorative measures emerged to address the atrocities that had been perpetrated and the moral failures that enabled them. Among the post-Holocaust measures to create accountability, advance justice, and prevent future genocides, some leaders of religious communities in convened to confront and redress the detrimental role religion had played by fertilizing the soil in which the seeds of Nazi ideology could so comfortably take root. We will study five pioneering documents of dialogue: rotestant, Jewish-Christian, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim that address themes of guilt, atonement, theology, justice, education, dialogue, and cooperation in order to create a safer, more peaceful world of coexistence.
Session Three, February 6, 7:00 pm and February 7, 12:45 pm
Muslim-Jewish Relations At This Moment in Time
**Please note this session will on Tuesday evening with our visiting and nationally recognized scholar, Imam Adbulsah Antepli.
- Part One – Tuesday, February 6, 2023, 7:00 to 8:15 pm Presbyterian and Pluralist Week Lecture and Upstander Award with Imam Antepli – “To Heal Our Broken World: The Role of Interfaith Efforts in Uniting Us.”
- Part Two – Wednesday, February 7, 2023, 12:45 pm Conversation unpacking Imam Antepli’s writings and speech.
Session Four, February 14
A Jewish Lens on the Interfaith Work and its Evolution
We will explore primary writings of leading Jewish thinkers on the topic of interreligious relations from the medieval scholar and philosopher Moses Maimonides, to civil rights leader Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, to the Orthodox leader Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. The great Jewish thinkers of the past have diverse approaches to interfaith relations.
Session Five, February 21
A Christian Lens on Interfaith Engagement
We explore the primary writing of leading Christian thinkers on the topic of interreligious relations
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Pope John XXIII, and Pope Paul VI.
Session Six, February 28th
A Muslim Lens on Interfaith Engagement
A vision for Muslim relations with others faiths extends back to Mohammed with the Constitution of Medina (after his arrival to Medina in 622 CE). We will explore this foundational text, excerpts from the Qur’an, and modern Muslim voices that speak to building Muslim-Jewish-Christian bridges of understanding and action. We will included the modern voices of H.R.H. Prince Ghazi who was one of the first Muslims to lead international interfaith initiatives and Eboo Patel who founded and built Interfaith America.
Session Seven, March 20th
An Array of Other Religious Thinkers
We will explore an array of other religious thought leaders on the topic of interfaith bridgebuilding including Mahatma Gandhi (Hinduism) and the Dalei Lama (Buddhism).
Session Eight, March 28th
Where does Israel fit in? Where do we go from here?