Seton Hall University Diplomacy and International Relations student
Paul Murphy attended Georgetown professor Paul Heck’s lecture on the
prophecy of Islam and its implications for Christians, which asked
questions such as; “Is there any sense in which Islam can offer a
prophetic voice for Christians? In what ways does it meet the conditions
of Christian prophecy and in what way does it differ from them? How
these questions are answered will have tremendous implications for
global harmony for decades and centuries to come.” Paul Murphy responded
to the dynamic lecture with the following observations.
“On September 27, the Center for Catholic Studies began its fifteenth
season of lectures and co-curricular activities with Georgetown
professor Paul Heck on campus in an event titled, “The Prophecy of
Islam.” The lecture was co-sponsored by the Department of Religion, the
Department of Catholic Studies, the Whitehead School of Diplomacy, the
Newark Archdiocesan Commission for Christian Unity, and the Newark
Archdiocesan Commission of Interreligious Affairs.
In the midst of a slowly widening divide between Christianity and
Islam, Heck offered himself as a case study of respect and understanding
between the two. In his experience as a scholar of Islam and
interactions with those that practice the faith, Heck says that the
faith served as a, “prophetic witness” to his own faith.
“I am a Christian, a Roman Catholic, who believes what the Church
teaches on faith and morals,” said Heck. “…yet I also have a great love
for Islam, for Muslims and also for the Islam that they bear in their
hearts and that makes the Muslims who they are.”
He also touched on how as a professor of theology, he has seen faith
leaders from a myriad of religions further grow in their own faith while
further developing tolerance and understanding of other faiths through
learning about them.
On the discourse, Heck offered a simple solution: theology.
“Theology has to weigh in,” said Heck. “There are very different
world views out there and they can clash, and they will continue to do
so if theology cannot weigh in.”
The cycle of religious discourse could be broken by engaging religions with gratitude, not dismissal, offered Heck.
“I believe that all of us: Jews, Christians and Muslims have a chance
to participate in rediscovering God’s promises to Abraham,” said Heck.
Heck, the founding director of the Center for the Study of Religions
across Civilizations, is a doctorate graduate of Islamic studies from
the University of Chicago. He has penned two books, Common Ground:
Muslims, Christians, and Religious Pluralism, and Skepticism in the
Golden Age of Islam.”
Paul Murphy is Senior Seton Hall University student, majoring in
Diplomacy and International Relations. He is the Technical Producer of
The Global Current and the International News Editor of The Whitehead
View the lecture on YouTube here
About the Center for Catholic Studies
Founded at Seton Hall University in 1997, The Center for Catholic
Studies is dedicated to fostering a dialogue between the Catholic
intellectual tradition and all areas of study and contemporary culture
through scholarly research and publications and ongoing programs for
faculty, students, and the general public. In 2001, the Center conducted
the annual faculty summer seminar, "The Core of the Core," which
originated the present University Core Curriculum. The Center also
developed the undergraduate degree program in Catholic Studies with its
major, minor and certificate, which in 2012 became the Department of
Catholic Studies. The Center continues to support the Department with
scholarship aid and its ongoing program of co-curricular activities.
Focusing on the central role of the faculty, the Center is the
primary sponsor of regular Faculty Development programs, including
lectures, seminars and retreats. The Center also administers two
national faculty development programs: Collegium: A Colloquy on Faith
and Intellectual Life, and The Lilly Fellows Program.
The Center maintains a global focus in international scholarship and
is the home of G.K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture, as
well as the Bernard J. Lonergan Institute. The Micah Institute for
Business and Economics concentrates on communicating Catholic Social
Teaching and ethics to business education at Seton Hall and the wider
business community. The Institutes offer opportunities for study and
research, as well as ongoing programs related to faith and culture. The
Center also publishes the prestigious Chesterton Review, The Lonergan
Review and Arcadia, a student journal. As of Fall 2012, The Newman
Association of America will be housed under the auspices of the Center
for Catholic Studies.
For more information, visit http://www.shu.edu/academics/artsci/catholic-studies-center/index.cfm
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