CAIRO – Bridging the gap between the country’s Muslims and Christians, a Canadian university center will be holding a series of lectures this fall on the relationship between the two main faiths inside the community.Why bother with all that when all you have to do to forget "political" Islam and the symbolization of people is watch a few episodes of the Ceeb's Little Mosque on the Prairie?
"The interest in Islam has grown enormously," David Goa, the director of the Chester Ronning Center for the Study of Religion and Public Life, told the Calgary Herald on Saturday, November 19.
"Tragically, much of this interest is in political Islam and does not move beyond this modern reaction to modernity.
"Since Muslims are our neighbors, Christians have a responsibility to know them, not for how they are depicted in the media, not for how militants and virulent secular critics . . . depict them, but for their struggle to find a way to live well in our modern world and for the gifts they see and treasure bequeathed to them by their spiritual disciplines and faith."
The center, at the Augustana campus of the University of Alberta, will hold lectures in Calgary, Camrose and Edmonton.
Starting on Monday at Messiah Lutheran Church in Camrose, the first lecture is titled Turning Persons into Symbols.
It will examine the landscapes of images that incite fear and anger, divide people and turn Muslim communities into fearful symbols.
A second lecture, titled Landscape of Christian-Muslim Conversation, would be held later in November 28 at the same venue.
In this lecture, Goa will invite people to think and discuss the various pathways needed to resist the "colonization of faith."
The third lecture is titled Conversations Ancient and Modern, and looks at how Eastern Christianity and Islam have lived side by side since the 7th Century and continue to do so today, and what western Christianity can learn from this.
The fourth lecture, Thinking About Prophet Muhammad, looks at the images people have of the Prophet as well as those of Jesus Christ and will offer a new way for Christians to think about Muhammad.
Dates for the third and fourth lectures are to be determined...
Update: Dude's got some (Al)mighty impressive facial foliage going on there: