Living Questions | WYPR

Living Questions

Photo courtesy ICJS

Today, another installment in our monthly series, Living Questions, in which we examine the role of religion in the public sphere.  We’re producing this series in partnership with the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies.

Following the riots and uprising in April of 2015, the ICJS embarked on a two-part project they called Imagining Justice in Baltimore.  The first part consisted of three lectures delivered earlier this year by Religious scholars from outside Baltimore.  Dr. Robert Franklin, from Emory University in Atlanta offered the Christian perspective.  Dr. Marc Gopin of George Mason University offered the Jewish perspective, and Dr. Najeeba Syeed of the Claremont School of Theology in California considered the notion of justice from the Muslim perspective.

ABC-News

Today, in the November installment of our monthly series, Living Questions, a look at Native American spiritual practice and the sanctity of tribal land.  We’ll examine how tribal traditions have factored into the months-long conflict between the Standing Rock Sioux tribe of North Dakota and Energy Transfer Partners, a Dallas-based company trying to complete the 1200-mile Dakota Access Pipeline at a Missouri river crossing near the tribe’s reservation.  The standoff at Standing Rock has become an historic gathering of Native Americans and other activists.  We’ll talk with Akim Reinhardt, a professor of American Indian history at Towson University,  Ann Duncan, associate professor of religion at Goucher College, and Richard Meyers, an Oglala Sioux and coordinator of the American Indian Studies program at South Dakota State University, who’s joined the Standing Rock protests.  Spiritual practice and the intersection of religious freedom, property rights, and the US Constitution -- and your calls -- in this edition of Midday's Living Questions.

Photos courtesy Lamptey, Calabria, Duffner

Today, another installment in our monthly series, Living Questions, in which we examine the role of religion in the public sphere.

Our focus today is on Islamophobia, particularly as it pertains to American Catholics.  Only 14% of Catholics have a favorable view of Muslims.  Are Catholics more pre-disposed to be Islamophobic than adherents to other faiths?   While the mass media often portray Muslims in a negative light, it appears that Catholic media do so even more frequently.  Is it a matter of bias, or bad reporting?  And what about the role of church leaders?  Pope Francis has garnered a reputation as one of the most open and inclusive pontiffs in history.  What is his message about Muslims, and is his flock getting it?

Those questions are at the core of a new report, Danger and Dialogue: American Catholic Public Opinion and Portrayals of Islam, published by Georgetown University's Bridge Initiative, a multi-year research and communication project that's based at the University's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.   Joining Tom in the studio to discuss the report's findings is author Jordan Denari Duffner, a research fellow at the Bridge Initiative. Also joining us by phone are Father Michael Calabria, a Franciscan friar and director of the Center for Arab & Islamic Studies at St. Bonaventure University in  upstate New York, and Dr. Jerusha Lamptey, Associate Professor of Islam and Ministry at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

Beth Am Synagogue/Memorial Episcopal Church

Time now for another installment in our monthly series, Living Questions, in which we examine the role of religion in the public sphere. We’re producing this series in partnership with the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies.

Tom's guests this afternoon are two young, dynamic clergy whose work in their congregations is informed by their commitment to social justice. They are not only spiritual leaders. They are also animating their largely white congregations around the issues that affect our majority African American city.

Daniel Cotzin Burg is the senior rabbi of Beth Am Synagogue in Reservoir Hill, just south of Druid Hill Park. The Rev. Grey Maggiano is the rector of Memorial Episcopal Church in the neighborhood that’s adjacent to Reservoir Hill to the south, Bolton Hill.

Jessy Gross

It’s time for another installment of Living Questions, a monthly series in which we examine the role of religion in the public sphere. This series is being produced in partnership with the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies.

Rabbi Jessy Gross is the Senior Director of Jewish Life at the Baltimore Jewish Community Center, and the founder of the Charm City Tribe, a group of Jewish millennials. She joins Tom in-studio to talk about the way millennials are exercising their faith. Rabbi Gross was recently named one of "America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis” by The Forward Magazine.  

Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies

It’s time for another installment of Living Questions, a monthly series of conversations in which we examine the role of religion in the public sphere. 

Dr. Christopher Leighton is retiring after more than 30 years as executive director of the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies, a nonprofit organization that promotes religious tolerance.  Dr. Leighton's successor at the helm of ICJS is Dr. Heather Miller Rubens.  A specialist in Roman Catholic affairs, she and Dr. Leighton join Tom in-studio to reflect on the group's legacy and its mission going forward. 

Then, the discussion turns to the dark challenge posed by religious extremism, one of the apparent motivating forces behind the Orlando mass shooting, the Paris attacks and other recent acts of terror. Dr. Homayra Ziad, an Islamic scholar at ICJS, and Dr. Benjamin Sax, the group's Jewish scholar, join Tom, Dr. Leighton and Dr. Rubens to discuss how people of faith should respond to acts of violence carried out in the name of God, and how communities of faith can work to counter emerging cultures of hate. 

John Gehring

It's time now for another installment in our monthly series, Living Questions, in which we examine the role of religion in the public sphere. 

John Gehring is the Program Director at Faith in Public Life and author of The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope's Challenge to the American Catholic Church. Earlier this year, Pope Francis publicly disagreed with presidential candidate Donald Trump’s stance on immigration, calling Trump’s suggestion to “build walls,” to stop undocumented immigrants from entering the country, “not Christian.”  Gehring joins Tom to discuss the interactions this outspoken Catholic Pontiff has had with some of the US presidential candidates, and the prominent role faith is playing in this year’s race for the White House.  

PHOTO: Claremont School of Theology

Time now for another installment in our monthly series, Living Questions, in which we examine the role of religion in the public sphere.  We’re producing this series in partnership with the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies.

In February of this year, the ICJS inaugurated a three-part lecture series called Imagining Justice in Baltimore, in which a Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholar each address how his or her religious tradition understands the notion of justice -- and how that applies to our community.  

Tom's guest this morning is the third and final speaker in this series, who will address this topic from the Muslim perspective.  Najeeba Syeed is Assistant Professor of Interreligious Education at the Claremont School of Theology, in Claremont, California.

Professor Syeed is recognized internationally as a leader in peace-building.  She has done award-winning work in southern California reducing violence in the schools there and in mediating interracial gang conflicts.   Her international conflict-mediation efforts include work with Israelis and Palestinians, as well as work in Guam, Afghanistan, India, and elsewhere.  Professor Syeed joins us from the studios of KPCC radio in Pasadena, California.

The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University

It's time now for another installment in our monthly series, Living Questions, in which we examine the role of religion in the public sphere. The series is produced in partnership with the Institute for Islamic Christian and Jewish Studies (ICJS).

ICJS is hosting a three-part lecture series called Imagining Justice in Baltimore. The purpose of the series is to reconcile and bring communities together in the wake of last year’s uprising following the death of Freddie Gray.

The series brings scholars from Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths to offer insights on the notion of justice from their spiritual perspectives.

Dr. Marc Gopin is a rabbi and the director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. He is also the author of Bridges Across an Impossible Divide: The Inner Lives of Arab and Jewish Peacemakers. He joins Tom to discuss how conversations across religious lines can bridge ethnic and socio-economic divides. 

Dr. Marc Gopin is the second speaker in the Imagining Justice in Baltimore series hosted by the Institute for Islamic Christian and Jewish Studies (ICJS). He will speak  on Tuesday,  April 5th at 7pm at the Reginald F Lewis Museum of Maryland  African American History and Culture.

It's time now for another installment in our monthly series, Living Questions, in which we examine the role of religion in the public sphere.  We’re producing this series in partnership with the Institute for Islamic Christian and Jewish Studies (ICJS).

Next month, ICJS will inaugurate a three-part lecture series on the theme of Imagining Justice in Baltimore. A Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholar will each address the question of how each religious tradition refracts and understands the notion of justice.  In light of the wrenching events in Baltimore last spring, the Institute is hoping to bridge ethnic, socio-economic and religious divides, and deepen and enrich appreciation for the place of justice-seeking in different faith traditions.

Tom's guest is the first speaker in this new series, and he speaks from the Christian perspective.  The Rev. Dr. Robert M. Franklin is President Emeritus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, a professor of Moral Leadership at Emory University, and the director of the Religion Department at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY.  His latest book is called Crisis in the Village: Restoring Hope in African American Communities.

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