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Triennial Interfaith Dialogue examines faith in times of suffering

  • Donniel Hartman, an Orthodox rabbi and president of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, will be one of three speakers
  • Cynthia M. Campbell, an ordained Presbyterian minister and president emerita of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, is one of three speakers.
  • Omid Safi, professor of Islamic Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is one of three speakers.

Posted on October 16, 2012

Individuals experience suffering — from natural disasters to personal tragedies — that challenges their faith commitment and understanding. What are the resources in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scriptures and faith traditions that help people deal with such challenges to their faith? An event, sponsored by the Sylvia and Richard Kaufman Interfaith Institute at Grand Valley State University, will explore these resources.

Three outstanding speakers, one from each faith, are among the presenters throughout the day, Tuesday, October 30, at Eberhard Center, 301 West Fulton, GVSU Pew Grand Rapids Campus, during the 2012 Jewish/Christian/Muslim Interfaith Dialogue.

“This year’s dialogue celebrates the 20th anniversary of its founding,” said Douglas Kindschi, director of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute, which sponsors the triannual event. “In many ways, it also culminates the efforts of the 2012 Year of interfaith Understanding, which has already seen more than 200 interfaith events.”

The Interfaith Dialogue speakers include:

Rabbi Donniel Hartman, an Orthodox rabbi, is president of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. The Institute is a leading innovator in the field of pluralistic Jewish thought, and Judaic research, and a major center for Rabbinic and lay leadership education, as well as interfaith learning.

Cynthia M. Campbell is president emerita of McCormick Theological Seminary, in Chicago, Ill. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, Campbell is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and Southern Methodist University, where she received a doctorate in systematic theology. She now serves as pastor at Highland Presbyterian Church, in Louisville, Ky.

Omid Safi is a leading Muslim a professor of Islamic Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He specializes in contemporary Islamic thought and medieval Islamic history. He is the past chair for the study of Islam at the American Academy of Religion, the largest international organization devoted to the academic study of religion.

For registration information and a complete schedule, visit or call (616) 331-5702.

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