Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies & Dialogue

2018 Schedule

Details may change.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Conference Opening 4:30 PM

Opening Remarks: Dianne Oliver, Nazareth College

Dinner 5:15PM

Moderator: Sara Varhus 

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Bruce Hoffman

Topic: "Understanding the Evolving Terrorism Threat Landscape"

While ISIS has dominated the headlines and preoccupied our attention for the past four years, al-Qaeda has been quietly rebuilding. The resurrection of al-Qaeda’s presence in both Afghanistan and Somalia and the solidification of its influence in Syria and Yemen, underscores the stubborn resiliency and continued vitality of America’s preeminent terrorist enemy. Indeed, with ISIS lamentably still active and Al-Qaeda clearly resurgent, today we face the most parlous security environment since 2001—with serious threats emanating from not one but two terrorist movements who both have cultivated a myriad of branches and affiliates thereby enhancing their capabilities and ensuring their longevity. Theses non-traditional challenges to U.S. national security and foreign policy imperatives posed by these elusive and deadly irregular adversaries require new strategies, organizational and institutional behaviors.  

Brief Bio

Bruce Hoffman has been studying terrorism for over four decades. He is a tenured professor in Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service where from 2010 to 2017 he directed its security studies center and M.A. program. Hoffman is also visiting Professor of Terrorism Studies at St Andrews University, Scotland and previously held the Corporate Chair in Counter-terrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation. He was a commissioner on the 9/11 Review Commission and a lead author of its final report. Hoffman was Scholar-in-Residence for Counter-terrorism at the Central Intelligence Agency (2004-2006); adviser on counter-terrorism to the Coalition Provisional Authority, Baghdad, Iraq (2004), and adviser on counterinsurgency to Multi-National Forces-Iraq Headquarters, Baghdad (2004-2005) The third edition of his acclaimed book, Inside Terrorism, was recently published. Hoffman’s other books include The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat(2014), and the award-winning Anonymous Soldiers (2015).

Performance by Borinquen Dance Theatre: 8:30PM

Monday, July 30, 2018

Breakfast 7:30-8:40AM

Session 1: 9:00-10:30 AM   

Panel 1 -States, Human Rights, & Violence

Moderator: Nevan Fisher

Michael Calabria, “Heads Will Roll: Decapitations in Mughal Painting - Persecution or Punishment?

Yan Liu, “Violence, Human Rights, and Transcending Polemical Discourse - A Reflection on Christian Hermeneutics in Contemporary China”

Lawrence A. Whitney, “Govern Them with Moral Force by Ritual: The Confucian Prescription for Achieving Peace among the Warring States”

Panel 2 - Violence in Cultural Contexts

Saundra Sterling Epstein, “Domestic Violence: The Secretive Suffering of Too Many Jewish Women”

Meliani Murtiningsih, “Female Circumcision in Indonesia: A Collusion Between Tradition and Religion”

Marie Hause, “The Parable of the Wedding Protest: Matthew 22.1-14”

Panel 3  - Abrahamic Traditions and Conflict Resolution

Hamidullah Marazi, “Peacemaking, Conflict Resolution, and Abrahamic Faith Traditions”

George P. Heyman, “Putting Amalek ‘Under the Ban’: Textual Warrants for Divine Violence in Judaism, Christianity and Islam”

Muslim Jan, “Religion, the Misrepresented Reason for Violent Conflicts”

Break 10:30-11:00 AM Refreshments

Session 2: 11:00AM 12:30PM

Panel 1 - Catholic Approaches to Conflict Resolution

John Sniegocki, “Pope Francis, Nonviolence, and Catholic Teaching on War”

Harry Murray, “The Development of Nonviolence in the American Catholic Church, From Dorothy Day to the Berrigans”

Marvin L. Krier Mich, “Consistent Ethic of Life Confronts Violence”

Panel 2  - Islam, Radicalism, & Terrorism

David Elijah Bell, “‘Terrorist’ as Ethnic Slur: Dehumanization, Collective Guilt amid Individual Instability, and the Double Standards of Radical ‘Islamic’ Terrorism”

Ahmed ALzahrani, “Terrorism and Islamic Sacred Texts”

Etin Anwar, “The Quest for Political: Radical Islamism and the War on Terror in Indonesia”

Panel 3  - Indian Scriptures and Violence

John Thompson, “Speak Dhamma, but Carry a Big Stick”

Nawaraj Chaulagain, “Violence or its Delegitimization?: Opposing Views from the Hindu World”

Annapurna Devi Pandey &  Nita Ganapathi, “Revisiting Hindu scriptures in Tech Savvy Silicon Valley”

Lunch Break 12:30-2:00 PM

Moderator: Diane Ariza, Nazareth College 

Keynote Speaker: Kathy Kelly

Topic: Religion Violence (De)legitimating

Militarism has become a dominant “religion” in the world and especially in the United States. I would like to observe the “mythos, ethos and cultus” of militarism and militarization in the United States. Having lived alongside ordinary people in several war zones, I would like to reflect on the repercussions for civilians when militarism, as a major cause of violence, demands faith-based adherence.
 Short Bio
 Kathy Kelly has traveled to war zones and lived alongside ordinary people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon, Bosnia and  Nicaragua.  She and her companions in Voices for Creative Nonviolence believe the U.S. should end all U.S. military and economic warfare and pay reparations for suffering already caused by U.S. wars. In the past year, Voices has helped organize vigils and forums about conflict-driven near famine conditions in Yemen and northern Africa. She has  joined with activists in various regions of the U.S. to  protest drone warfare by holding demonstrations outside of U.S. military  bases in Nevada, California, Michigan, Wisconsin and Whiteman Air  Force base in Missouri. In 2015, for carrying a loaf of bread and a letter across the line at Whiteman AFB she served three months in prison. From 1996 – 2003, Voices activists formed 70 delegations that openly defied economic sanctions by bringing medicines to children and families in Iraq. Kelly traveled to Iraq 27 times, during that period. She and her companions lived in Baghdad throughout  the 2003 “Shock and Awe” bombing. She was sentenced to one year in federal prison for planting corn on  nuclear missile silo sites (1988-89) at Whiteman Air Force Base and spent three months in prison, in 2004, for crossing the line at Fort Benning’s military training school. As  a war tax refuser, she has refused payment of all forms of federal income tax since 1980.

Session 3, :2:15- 3:45 PM

Panel 1 -  Reinterpretation of Islamic Textual Approaches

Hussam Timani, “Takfir: The Legitimization of Violence in Islamic Thought

Ahmet Bedir and Ahmet Celenli, “ An Analysis of How People Desecrate the Holy Script and Juxtapose their Misinterpretation with the Actual Teachings of Holy Scripture”

Fatih Harpci, “Fifty Shades of Terror: The Myth of Islamic Violence”

Panel 2 -  Violence in Colonial Contexts

Renato Taib Oliveros, “Parrang Sabil in Defense of Islam”

Ulrike Wiethaus, “Hidden Histories of Violence and Their Cinematographic Archives: Filming  Spaces of Death, Regeneration, and the Sacred in the Arctic Circle

Christian van Gorder,  “Recent Violence Against Muslims in Germany and Interfaith Peacemaking”

Panel 3 -  Violence and the Bible

Moderator: David Hill, SUNY Oswego

Niveen Sarras, “Redeeming the Violent Image of God in Joshua 6-11”

John Fadden, “Thinking about ‘Religious Violence’ in the Book of Judges”

Jeffery McPherson, “Violence and the Cross: The Affinity Between Theories of Atonement and Christian Attitudes Towards War and Peace”

Break 3:45- 4:00 PM

Session 4, 4:00-5:30 PM

Panel 1 - Violence and the Bible

Eric Seibert, “Deconstructing the Violent God of the Old Testament: Severing the Biblical Roots of Religious Violence”

Saundra Sterling Epstein, “Beyond the Conflict: Going Back to Our Texts”

Jonathan D. Lawrence, “Hating or Loving Our Enemies? Violence and Love in the Bible and in Christian Traditions”

Panel 2 - Religions, Cultures, and the Psychology of Violence

Moderator: Sara Varhus, Nazareth College

William Glennon, “Counting Culturally Complex Trauma in the Cost of the Spread of Puritanical Christianity and Islam”

Fa. Demetrios E. Tonias,, “Facing Down Fear: John Chrysostom’s Answer to Violence”

Panel 3  - Conflict  in Contemporary Contexts

Moderator: Andrea Talentino

Andrii Krawchuk, “Building Peace or Deepening Conflict: A Key Criterion for Assessing Religious Action in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict”

Julianna Hazen, “An Eschatological Approach to the Nuclear and Potential Post-Nuclear Global Reality”

Dinner and Keynote - 6:00 PM

Moderator:

Speaker: Prof. Charles Kimball

Title:  “When Religion Becomes Lethal: The Explosive Mix of Politics and Religion”

In all of the major religions, religion and politics have always linked in a variety of ways.  Far too often, the interplay has proven to be volatile. In the 21st century, however, the explosive mix of religion and politics presents one of the most dangerous dynamics.  In our increasingly interconnected and interdependent world community, it doesn’t take many religious zealots with narrow political agendas to wreak havoc. This presentation will address these pressing questions:  What in the world is going on? What must concerned people of goodwill understand about the interplay between religion and politics (especially in contemporary Judaism, Christianity, and Islam)? And, what can we do to build a more hopeful and healthy future in our communities, nations, and world?

Brief Bio

Dr. Charles Kimball is Presidential Professor and Director of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. Between 1996 and 2008, he served as Chair of the Department of Religion (1996-2004) and professor of comparative religion in the Department of Religion and the Divinity School at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. An ordained Baptist minister, he received his Th.D. from Harvard University in the comparative religion with specialization in Islamic studies.

Dr. Kimball's courses at OU include "Introduction to Religious Studies," "Comparative Religion," “World Religions in America,” "Conceptions of the Afterlife," “Religion and Politics in the Middle East,” and "Islam." He is a frequent lecturer in universities and church-related settings as well as an expert analyst on the Middle East, Islam, Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations, and the intersection of religion and politics in the U.S.

From 1983-1990 he was the Director of the Middle East Office at the National Council of Churches. Over the past 40 years, Kimball has made more than 35 visits to the Middle East and worked closely with Congress, the White House and the State Department during the past 30 years. In 1984, he founded Churches for Middle East Peace.

His articles have appeared in a number of publications, includingSojourners, The Christian Century, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution andThe Boston Globe.  He is the author of five books, including When Religion Becomes Lethal: The Explosive Mix of Politics and Religion in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2011).  His previous book, When Religion Becomes Evil: Five Warning Signs(HarperOne, rev. ed. 2008),was named one of the “Top 15 Books on Religion” by Publishers Weekly and one of the top ten books of the year by the Association of Parish Clergy.

July 31, 2018 Tuesday

Breakfast   7:30- 8:40 AM

Session 5, 9:00- 10:30 AM

Panel 1 -Islam, Moderation & Reform

Muhammad Mumtaz Ali and Muneer Muhammed Rafeeque “The Principle of Wasatiyya Moderation as a Way for Preventing Violent Extremism”

Abdullah Al-Lheedan, “De-Legitimization of Violence in Islamic Sacred Texts”

Shalahudin Kafrawi, “Delegitimizing Enmity, Pursuing Friendship: The Rhetoric of the Self and the Other in the Qur’an”

Panel 2 Interfaith Reconciliation and Peace-building

Moderator: Richard Salter 

Timothy James Carey, “Issues of Creative Justice Concerning South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Saiyida Zakiya Islam, “‘Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright’: An Educator’s Approach to the De-legitimization of Violence Through Approaching the Sacred in Stories”

Panel 3 - Islam, Peacemaking, & Conflict Resolution

Nazir Ahmad Zargar, “Concept of Peace in Islam”

Imam Ali Siddiqui, “Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) Model of Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution Avoiding Violence”

Mohammad Rumi, “Islam, Peace and Understanding Jihad”

Break: 10:30-11:00 AM

Session 6, 11:00 AM- 12:30 PM

Special Lecture

Muhammad Akhtar Saeed Siddiqi, “Remodeling the Paradigm of Religious Inference and Decision Making in Islam; Converting the Dogmatics Into a Positive / Vibrant Human Activity”

Lunch and Keynote Speaker 12:30

Moderator: Karen Keenan 

Sheik Ghassan Manasra, “The Abrahamic Reunions Multifaith Peacebuilding: Religion as a Force for Peace”

Brief Bio

Ghassan Manasra is an International Executive Director, Abrahamic Reunion Peacebuilder, scholar, and intercultural dialogue expert. He offers lectures at Cornell University, Yale, University of Cambridge, North American Imam Federation Annual Conference, and Parliament of The World’s Religions. In 2014, he was awarded “Outstanding Leader in Interreligious Dialogue” from the Dialogue Institute of Temple University.

Thank you from Dianne Oliver, Nazareth College