Event highlights common beliefs in Islam, Christianity

Although Christianity and Islam have many differences, the faiths share two key beliefs: loving God and loving one’s neighbor.

On Monday, two scholars will discuss those shared beliefs during “A Common Word,” a Christian-Muslim Dialogue event at 7 p.m. in the W.T. Young Library Auditorium.

The event is sponsored by the UK Interfaith Dialogue Organization and the Rumi Forum of Washington, D.C., with support of Student Government.

The event was inspired by a national initiative, “A Common Word between Us and You,” based around an open letter available to read at acommonword.com that declares the common ground between Islam and Christianity.

Mehmet Saracoglu, the Interfaith Dialogue Organization’s president, said it is important to talk about the common points, and differences between faiths.

“Understanding the relationship between the two religions is crucial because we live in a global society,” Saracoglu said. “We can’t isolate each other, especially nowadays, so it’s especially important that we understand the common points.”

Each of the two scholars speaking at the Monday event is a scholar in his respective field.

Mark Swanson is the Harold S. Vogelaar Professor of Christian-Muslim Studies and Interfaith Relations at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He is also the associate director of the Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice.

Ismail Acar is a visiting assistant professor of religion at Bard College and was recently a visiting fellow at the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School, where he was involved in research regarding “Stoning in Islamic Law: A Contemporary Approach.”

For more information on the event, e-mail [email protected]