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Scholar to Present Seminar on Islam for Clergy


An expert on Islam will explore its basic history, concepts and calendar at a free seminar for New York-area clergy.

“Islam 101” will be presented by Hussein Rashid, Ph.D., visiting instructor at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

When: Tuesday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: 12th-Floor Lounge, Lowenstein Building, Lincoln Center campus
RSVP: before Thursday, March 24 to Mary Tennermann (212) 665-0732 ext. 237

A respondent panel will include:

• Patrick J. Ryan, S.J., the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham;
• Abraham Unger, Ph.D., assistant professor, director of urban programs and rabbi at Wagner College; and
• Gary Mills, assistant to the bishop for global and multicultural administration in the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The panel will help stimulate small group discussions after the main presentation.

“The fabric of our city’s civil society depends on a working knowledge of its different cultures and religious traditions. New York metropolitan-area clergy are, simply by virtue of their location, serving the most diverse city in the world,” Father Ryan said. “Muslims represent perhaps the fastest growing religious population in New York City, yet many area clergy know very little about Islam.”

Rashid, an American-born Isma’ili Muslim, has vast experience in presenting Islam in its multiple identities to American audiences, Father Ryan said.

Rashid’s doctoral dissertation at Harvard focused on racial and ethnic self-identification in South Asian immigrant communities in the United States. Prior to that, he completed a master’s degree in theological studies at Harvard Divinity School, with an emphasis on comparative Muslim-Hindu theologies in South Asia.

In addition to the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, he teaches at the Virginia Theological Seminary and Quest: A Center for Spiritual Inquiry at the Park Avenue Christian Church in New York City.


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