FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public program sponsored by the Evanston Deanery of the Diocese of Chicago and
Seabury Western Theological Seminary
EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, August 23, 2010—The Chicago area is home to more than 400,000 Muslims, and Episcopal Church leaders would like to promote understanding about their faith and practices.
To that end, two Episcopal organizations are sponsoring Encounter Islam, a day-and-a-half long public program with the Rev. William Sachs, Ph.D. of the Center for Interfaith Reconciliation in Richmond, Virginia and Imad-Ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D., president of the Minaret of Freedom Institute in Washington DC.
“Encounter Islam begins by surveying the basis of Islam and the meaning of faith to Muslims,” said Ruth Frey, director of continuing education at Seabury, “but the goal of the program is to confront the sources of misunderstanding and anger between Muslims and the Western world and propose pathways to cooperation. It’s a program designed for Christians who want to explore better ways to live in our multi-faith world.”
The Center for Interfaith Reconciliation, begun at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Richmond in 2006, sponsors major interfaith gatherings and promotes local initiatives that build understanding and cooperation among people of different faiths. Dr. Sachs holds degrees from Baylor, Vanderbilt, and Yale, and a Ph.D. in the history of Christianity from the University of Chicago. He is the author of four books and more than 200 articles, chapters, reports, and reviews.
Dr. Ahmad was born in 1948 at sea to Palestinian refugee parents and raised in Pennsylvania. He holds a undergraduate degree from Harvard and a Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Arizona. He is senior lecturer at the University of Maryland, has taught at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins universities, and have lectured Dr. Ahmad has lectured on Islam at the Foreign Services Institute and for the Joint Special Operations University’s Middle East Orientation Course.
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