Interfaith Conversation to explore world belief systems

Image of hands framing the globe in front of a world mapMembers of the NIU campus community are invited to attend a free, six-week course on “The Interfaith Conversation: Exploring World Belief Systems,” beginning Wednesday, Jan. 28, and continuing through Wednesday, March 4.

Each session takes place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the staff lounge on the lower level of Founders Memorial Library. Free parking is available in the visitors lot just west of the library.

People are formed and informed by “cultures of belief.” While such systems of thinking and acting are unique, there are similarities that enable inter-belief discussions that broaden one’s “appreciative understanding.”

It’s vital to create the conditions for harmony in interdependent societies, a sort of engagement natural in the American context.

The inaugural Interfaith Conversation series provides an opportunity for people to explore diverse belief systems used to make sense of the world and guide ethical behavior. The series offers introductions to vital belief systems represented across the NIU community.

Each 90-minute session features a presentation delivered by a guest expert, a Q-and-A on how to apply this new knowledge in daily life and a closing that includes a meditative reading from a text representing the presenter’s community of belief.

Interfaith @ NIU logo

  • Jan. 28: Starting InterBelief/InterFaith Conversations
  • Feb. 4: Introducing Judaism
  • Feb. 11: Introducing Hinduism
  • Feb. 18: Introducing Secular Humanism
  • Feb. 25: Introducing Islam
  • March 4: Introducing Christianity

People from all communities of belief, as well as those who do not subscribe to a belief system, are welcome. In an effort to facilitate productive engagements that expand understanding, the discussion will follow these principles.

  • We hold that each system of belief is grounded in time-tested wisdom; therefore we will not debate questions of truth or validity.
  • We will promote discussion rooted in deep listening and mutual respect.
  • We will consider how to utilize new knowledge to foster inter-belief and inter-faith behavior that celebrates “similarities within difference.”

This engaged learning opportunity is sponsored by First- and Second-Year Experience; University Libraries; University Honors Program; NIU Outreach, Engagement & Regional Development; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and the Office of Student Engagement & Experiential Learning.

For more information, call (815) 753-0028 or email fsye@niu.edu.

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