Interreligious Program Highlight: Dialogue Groups

Written by Hannah Crivello
May 27, 2014

With funding from the Tillie & Alfred Shemanski Testamentary Trust, Seattle University's of Theology and Ministry is conducting two ongoing dialogues as a part of its Interreligious Initiative. Bi-monthly, Christian and Muslim leaders are gathering together to explore their religious traditions, since the two communities are new to this type of conversation. Quarterly, Jewish and Christian clergy are gathering to explore?for the first time in 10 years?differing perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This dialogue aims not only at better understanding but also at coming up with mechanisms to prevent an escalation of communal stress should the conflict over there escalate. Additional dialogue groups will be taking shape within the upcoming 2014-2015 year. Details to follow soon!

Quarterly, members of Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry gathers its Interreligious Council, a unique advisory body comprised of Christian, Muslim and Jewish representatives, who bring interfaith perspectives to bear on the work we are doing.
Utilizing the presence of Seattle University's visiting Jesuit scholars, significant outreach events have also taken place this past 2013-2014 year. This past fall, internationally renown interreligious scholar Dr. Francis X Clooney, SJ, visited the school for a week and assisted in the convening of a gathering of local Hindu community leaders and clergy to meet and to discuss their interest in either Hindu or multifaith dialogue. With the visit of Dr. Kang Ingun, SJ, leaders from diverse Buddhist communities gathered to intersect with him, each other and the work of Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry.
In addition to these special and more intimate dialogues, more formal programs were shared with the community this past year that fostered interreligious dialogue and community--including a multifaith Earth Day event that was co-sponsored by Earth Ministry and Seattle University's Campus Ministry and the university's Interreligious Dialogue Initiative, which featured presentations on faith and the environment from Native American, Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist speakers.

Learn more about the school's Interreligious Initiative here.