One hundred fifty Muslim and Christian leaders from more than 35 countries will be at Yale University this week for a conference to promote dialogue between the two faiths.
Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan; former Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi of Sudan; prominent Ayatollahs of Iran, and Grand Muftis of several Middle Eastern countries will attend the conference. Also expected are top Evangelical leaders, Senator John Kerry and representatives from the National Council on Churches as well as Jewish guests. The event is called â€œLoving God and Neighborâ€.
Yale Professor Miroslav Volf says that fundamental idea - central to both Christianity and Islam- can serve as a common basis for interfaith dialogue.
"Religion has often been and is still being used to divide people. What we want to see and what we can see is now that what is at the very heart of our faiths can also unite people."
Pope Benedictâ€™s controversial 2006 comments about Islam and Holy War led prominent Muslim scholars to publish an Open Letter to the Pope. That was followed by â€œA Common Word Between Us and Youâ€ signed by major Islamic leaders. Yale scholars responded, and a series of interfaith conferences were set up. Future meetings are to take place in the US, England, Jordan and at the Vatican.