Georgetown to Lead Christian and Muslim Scholars Seminar
April 23, 2012 – The Archbishop of Canterbury recently announced that the Building Bridges Seminar for Christian and Muslim Scholars, which brings together internationally recognized scholars from both faiths for intensive study, will enter its next phase under Georgetown’s stewardship.
Archbishop Rowan Williams announced in London April 16 that he would step down from his role in December 2012 to take a position at Cambridge University. The Building Bridges had run under his leadership for 10 years, and will now be housed at Georgetown.
“Under Archbishop Williams’ leadership, Building Bridges has become the foremost dialogue for Christian-Muslim scholars in the world,” said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia. “We look forward to building upon the seminar’s achievements and its continued contributions to strengthen understanding across our faiths and cultures.”
In his announcement, Williams said the seminar had been a “very important aspect of my work as Archbishop of Canterbury.”
“The friendships that have been formed between Christian and Muslim scholars of many traditions and from many nations and the quality of the theological conversation, which has evolved between them over several years, have been enormously encouraging,” Williams said. “I am deeply grateful to Georgetown University for taking on the next phase of Building Bridges and have every confidence that the momentum within this process will lead to more fruitful dialogue.”
He also said he hopes to participate in the seminar again “from time to time.”
The Church of England plans to maintain strong links with Building Bridges through the office of the Archbishop’s Secretary for Interreligious Affairs.
Continuing the Dialogue
Mona Siddiqui, professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the University of Edinburgh, and a Building Bridges participant, said she found it “very encouraging that the Building Bridges seminars will continue under the leadership of Georgetown University. I look forward to continuing the dialogue.”
The eleventh seminar taking place in London and Canterbury April 23-25. Future seminars will be held alternately at Georgetown’s Washington, D.C., campus as well as its campus in Qatar.
The university has hosted three of the previous seminars, with DeGioia’s participation.
Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs is maintaining the Building Bridges website.