Christian and Muslim scholars to meet at Notre Dame

By Michael O. Garvey

Institute for Church Life

Scholars and believers from the Catholic and Islamic faiths will meet at the University of Notre Dame Thursday and Friday (April 19 and 20) to discuss and deepen the encounter of the Catholic Church and Islam.

Among the issues discussed in “The Church and Islam: An International Colloquium,” sponsored by Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life, will be Muslim views of the Bible, the church and the saints; Christian views of the Quran and Islamic teachings on Muhammad; and the roles of conflict, reconciliation and healing in Christian-Muslim relations.

“The colloquium emerges from a shared conviction that interreligious dialogue is best conducted by believers speaking from the heart of their traditions,” said Gabriel Said Reynolds, Tisch Family Associate Professor of Theology at Notre Dame, who, with John Cavadini, McGrath-Cavadini Director of the Institute for Church Life, organized the meeting. “Such exchanges should naturally develop in Catholics and Muslims a mutual and sympathetic appreciation for the beauty of both beliefs."

Colloquium speakers will include Egyptian Jesuit scholar Samir Khalil Samir, professor of Islamic Studies at the Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut and at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. Father Samir, who advises the Pope on dialogue with Islam, will give a lecture on “Pope Benedict XVI and Islam” at 8 p.m. Thursday (April 19) in the Andrews Auditorium of Geddes Hall. His remarks will be followed by a response from Abdolrahim Gavahi, president of the World Religions Research Center in Tehran.

Other events during the colloquium include a panel discussion on “Christian Reflections on Holiness in Islam/Muslim Reflections on Holiness in Christianity,” in which each Muslim and Catholic scholar will offer an appreciative reflection on an exemplary person from the other tradition.

More information and a colloquium schedule are available online. All events are open to the public.

Contact: Jenny Monahan, assistant director of the Institute for Church Life, 574-631-9195,

Originally published by Michael O. Garvey at on April 17, 2012.