Dr Ed Kessler to headline Kirk interfaith conference

How can Christians, Jews and Muslims move beyond our religious differences and work together to build a better world?

Three Faith symbols The Cross, The Star of David and the Crescent Moon

Honest Conversations: Mission and Belief in Dialogue, a Church of Scotland conference to be held on 20 April in Glasgow, will look at the theological differences among Christians, Jews and Muslims and ask how we can move beyond them as we journey together.

A line-up of influential scholars and theologians will lead the discussion, including: Dr Ed Kessler, an expert in Jewish-Christian relations; Dr Alison Jack, an expert on interpreting the Bible; Rev Dr Fran Henderson, an expert on religious ideas and thinkers and Dr Amanullah de Sondy an expert on Muslim ideas about gender.

One key question for the conference will be how the meaning of “mission” differs within each of the three Abrahamic faiths and how these different interpretations affect our interfaith relationships.

A safe space to explore issues of faith and identity

The Moderator encourages everyone with an interest in building bridges among people of faith to join this important discussion. Dr Barr said:

“This is a much needed opportunity for members of the Church of Scotland to begin to ask and answer the key questions of interfaith.

“These questions focus on our identity and beliefs as Christians in relation to other faiths as we encounter them in numerous different ways, specifically the ones which are our closest relatives.

“They also revolve on the broader issues of an increasingly diverse Scotland and Britain, our responsibility as Christians to promote dialogue and overcome social, religious and ethnic dividing lines.

“Honest conversations will provide a safe space to explore deep and important issues of faith and identity with people from other faith communities.

“Honest conversations is also one of the ways we can take seriously our responsibility as Christians to promote dialogue and overcome social, religious and ethnic dividing lines.”

Dr Ed Kessler
Dr Ed Kessler

All-star academic line-up

Sign up to hear from acclaimed theologians and scholars from all three faiths, including:

  • Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr will give the opening address
  • Dr Ed Kessler of The Woolf Institute at Cambridge University will deliver the keynote speech on Christian-Jewish relations, ‘What replaces replacement theology?’
  • Dr Amanullah De Sondy, senior lecturer at University College Cork, and author of The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities, will speak on 'Intrafaith/Interfaith: The Challenges of Gender, Sexuality and Pluralism'
  • Rev Graham McGeoch, minister at Broughton St Mary’s will speak on ‘A Parish Church Interfaith Adventure; or A Story of the Guava Juice, the Coconut Cake and a Tin of Beans’
  • Rev Dr Fran Henderson, minister for Hoddom, Kirtle-Eaglesfield and Middlebie, will explore the key thinkers and theories of other religions that emerged from 20th Century Christian theology.
  • Dr Alison Jack, lecturer in divinity at New College, University of Edinburgh, who specialises in ways of interpreting the Bible will discuss ‘An overview from a Scriptural perspective on the ways examples from scripture might be used to both encourage and problematise interfaith dialogue.’
  • Rev Janet Foggie, pioneer minister at the University of Stirling, will speak on Sarah and Hagar; two models of Christian Mission

Honest Conversations: Mission and Belief in Dialogue will run from 9.30am-4.00pm, Thursday 20 April 2017, at Queen's Park Govanhill Church of Scotland, 170 Queens Drive, Glasgow, G42 8QZ

Everyone with an interest in interfaith relationships is invited to attend and contribute to the discussion. Tickets cost £20-£30 and are available from churchofscotland.eventbrite.com