Winter 2013: Sacred Dialogue

Interpreting and Embodying Sacred Texts Across Traditions

In the winter quarter, the 2012-2013 Bannan Institute will engage in an extended process of storytelling.  Lectures and events will explore the public significance of sacred texts from diverse contexts and traditions, including the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Scriptures, the Qur'an, the Bhagavata Purana, various Buddhist sutras, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This winter series will also highlight the multiple ways in which sacred texts make meaning in the public sphere, through narrative, critical analysis, illuminations, communal and personal interpretation, electronic media, proclamation, art, and interreligious engagement.

Sacred Dialogues Across the Qur'an

by Ingrid Mattson |

February 20, 2013 | 4 - 5:30 p.m.
St. Clare Room, Library and Learning Commons | MAP

During the period of revelation, believing men and women raised questions about the fairness of certain practices, and even about the way in which the Qur'an spoke about them. The fact that many of these concerns were addressed by the ongoing revelation is part of the Qur'anic message that needs to be better understood. The Qur'an is not just a collection of instructions to passive believers, but a responsive engagement with people created by God with intellects and consciences.

Ingrid Mattson is the London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies, Huron University College of The University of Western Ontario.  She was born and raised in Ontario, Canada and studied philosophy and fine arts at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. She abandoned religion 'for good' during her teenage years, but embraced Islam at the end of her undergraduate studies. She then traveled to Pakistan where she worked with Afghan refugees for a year. She earned her Ph.D. in Islamic studies from the University of Chicago in 1999. She went on to be very active in educating Canadian Muslims to become active participants in Canadian society at large. She is the former Director of Islamic Chaplaincy and Professor at the Macdonald Center for Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut, which houses the first Islamic chaplaincy program in the United States. In 2001 she was elected Vice-President of ISNA and in 2006 she was elected President of the organization. Mattson is the first female to lead the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). She is the author of The Story of the Qur'an: It's History and Place within Muslim Life, which is due out in a second revised edition this year.

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