Interfaith Program on Pilgrimage Planned Here Next Tuesday

A panel discussion on “Pilgrimage: What Might Jews, Christians, and Muslims Learn From and With Each Other?” will be held at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8, in the auditorium of O’Shaughnessy Educational Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

The program, free and open to the public, is sponsored by two interfaith centers at St. Thomas: the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning and the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center.

Rabbi Norman Cohen

Brief presentations, followed by a discussion among themselves and with audience members, will be given by Rabbi Norman Cohen, senior rabbi of Bet Shalom Congregation in Minnetonka, Susan Stabile, who holds the Robert and Marion Short Distinguished Chair in Law at St. Thomas’ School of Law, and Sheikh Odeh Muhawesh, CEO of Scorant LLC in Minneapolis.

Discussion questions include: What do traditional Jewish, Christian and Muslim pilgrimages teach us about Judaism, Christianity and Islam?  When examining approaches to pilgrimage in these traditions, what might Jews, Christians and Muslims learn from each other about religious commitment and devotion?  Are interfaith pilgrimages appropriate and should they be encouraged?

Susan Stabile

Cohen graduated from Holy Cross College before entering rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College, where he wrote a thesis later published as Jewish Bible Personages in the New Testament.  He has extensive experience in interfaith relations and is writing a book on misconceptions that Jews and Christians have about each other and what to do about them.

Stabile is among the leading scholars in the United States on pensions and employee benefits and on the intersection of Catholic social thought and the law.  An affiliate senior fellow of the St. John’s University (New York) Vincentian Center for Church and Society, she is an experienced leader of retreats and other programs of spiritual formation.

Sheikh Odeh Muhawesh

Muhawesh is a business leader, theologian, historian and teacher.  A specialist in Islamic theology and modern Middle East history, he teaches courses on these subjects as an adjunct professor at St. Thomas, where he also serves on the board of the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center.

More information can be found on the Jay Phillips Center’s website.