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EMU Hosts Interfaith Forum, Professor from Iran

Posted on June 10th, 2010

Abraham’s Tent: A Center for Interfaith Engagement at EMU, hosted Dr. Rasoul Rasoulipour, a philosophy of religion professor in Tehran, Iran, for a day-long campus visit, May 25, 2010.

Drs. Akrami, Rasoulipour and Mousavian visit EMU
The highly engaging Drs. Akrami, Rasoulipour and Mousavian emphasized the eager willingness of many Iranians to promote interfaith dialogue among ‘people of the book’ who share a common heritage as Children of Abraham. Their visit to the EMU campus was jointly sponsored by Abraham’s Tent and Mennonite Central Committee. (Photo by Jim Bishop)

Jointly sponsored by Abraham’s Tent and Mennonite Central Committee, the visit included meetings with top school administrators, personnel from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and an afternoon forum on the topic, “Why Faith-based Peacebuilding is Important.”

Importance of interfaith dialogue

An active proponent of interfaith dialog, Dr. Rasoulipour works closely with the Center for Interreligious Dialogue in Tehran where he formerly served as director. In recent years he has been instrumental in arranging MCC learning tours to Iran.

Two Iranian colleagues, Dr. Seyed Mousavian and Dr. Amir Akrami, both professors of philosophy and religion in Iran, were able to join Dr. Rasoulipour for the EMU meetings.

The late afternoon forum drew an unexpectedly large group of about 100 persons.

East Coast learning tour

Ed Martin, formerly of MCC, helped to organize an East Coast tour for the three interfaith dialogue proponents. Their visit included meetings in Charlottesville, Washington, DC., and Cambridge, Mass.

Dr. Rasoulipour has spent the past year as a visiting professor at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind., and returned to his teaching post in Tehran on June 5.

Drs. Akrami, Rasoulipour and Mousavian visit EMU
Prior to the forum, Dr. Rasoulipour talks with Robert Lee, retired Mennonite Mission Network missionary who worked with his wife, Nancy, for many years in Japan. (Photo by Jim Bishop)

“We feel highly honored by Dr. Rasoulipour’s visit and his willingness to not only lecture on this important topic but to share his personal commitment to interfaith dialogue,” said Gretchen H. Maust, associate director of Abraham’s Tent.

“It’s important for us to know that the Iranian people long to build relationships and welcome opportunities to debate our differences so we can grow in respectful understanding of each other,” she added.

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