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Next Summer: Deeper Understandings

by Lifelong Learning Staff

Ben Johnson - co-keynoter
Summer Scholars 2011

 “KNOWING Our Neighbors: Explorations in Faith & Practice” is the theme of next year’s Summer Scholars Week, July 18-21, 2011.

The aim is to foster deeper understanding among people from different religious backgrounds – through conversation and experiences with one another.

Led by Ben Johnson, Cassie Meyer, and others, we will have presentations, field trips, and conversations around the tenets and practices of the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faith traditions.

We will focus on three aspects of faith community:
- prayer/ worship/ liturgy,
- peace/ justice/ reconciliation, and
- works of service/ mercy.
Meyer is Content Director with the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC). The mission of the IFYC, based in Chicago, is to foster a religious pluralism that goes beyond mere tolerance for diversity – to bring people from different religious backgrounds together to create understanding and respect by serving their communities together.
Since retiring from the Columbia Seminary faculty in 2000, Johnson has focused on Muslim/Christian relations.
He maintains that in order to appreciate Muslims and engage in productive projects with them, Christians must take the initiative in creating trusting relationships.
Many Christians know little about Islam, and most Muslims have not seriously studied Christianity, except what is said in the Holy Koran, Johnson says. With the advent of globalization, all must learn to deal with people from different cultures and religious traditions.
 “If we are to live together in this world, we must learn to relate to each other.”
Planning for Summer Scholars 2011 is underway, coordinated by Linda Morningstar, Associate Director, Center for Lifelong Learning.
Watch here and on the Columbia Seminary Website for details.