School of Theology and Ministry
News and Events

Interfaith Harmony Week

  • About:

    In 2010, the United Nations designated the first week of February each year as "Interfaith Harmony Week.” The time is devoted to join individuals and communities of faith together in tolerance, peace, and mutual respect—honoring each faith’s deep commitment to the founding beliefs of “Love of God and Love of the Neighbor” or “Love of the Good and Love of the Neighbor.” Each year, Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry hosts special events and private gatherings for this worldwide Interfaith Harmony Week. We recognize that harmony can only happen when we are unafraid to discuss the truly difficult and important issues of our day.

    2015: 

    For the upcoming 2015 Interfaith Harmony Week, the school will host a special event featuring a panel of speakers from diverse faiths addressing on topic: “If our faiths teach love, why do we hate?” We all recognize that our own faiths teach us to love one another. However, most of us harbor some doubts about the intentions of people of some other faiths. What do these faiths say about loving one’s fellow human beings?  Is love meant just for those who think or believe like us or is it intended for everyone?  As a further challenge, most of recognize that at some point in the past—and maybe even to this day—many  of our faiths have advocated the use of violence in the name of God, thus we also need to own up to our religions’ dark sides. Even the most perfect of religions is only as good as its adherents’ behavior is and people have all sorts of motives that can be disguised in religious garb.

    Dr. Le Xuan HyJoining us for this challenging topic will be Dr. Hy Le Xuan, who will offer a psychological perspective on why people hate. He will be followed by a panel comprised of Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist speakers, who will endeavor to confront this topic honestly and openly.  Facilitated discussions at each table will conclude the evening.

    Please save the date for this special event, and consider joining us!

    Thursday, February 5  |  6:30-9:00pm
    Seattle University campus, Student Center - Room 160
    Tickets via Brown Paper Tickets

    $5 for students / $10 for community members
    Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served
    Get your tickets now!

    Previous Years:

    In 2014 , Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, Spehar-Halligan Visiting Professor of Ecumenical Collaboration in Interreligious Dialogue hosted the dinner conversation. In addition to his academic credentials, Rev. Dr. Kinnamon served as a past General Secretary of the National Council of Churches and worked closely with Rabbi Steve Gutow, President and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), on a variety of issues, including issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, particularly as it pertains to American Jewish-Christian relations, which was the subject of his presentation and conversation. At the 2013 dinner, a panel comprising a rabbi, an imam and a minister discussed “What are the barriers to the harmony we seek?”  Following their presentations, there was ample time for discussion of this crucial issue both with the panelists and at individual tables of guests.