The first interfaith event, "Bam 6.6," will take place on Thursday, Jan. 24, in Strite Conference room. The film focuses on a story of the human condition, weaving together themes of survival, loss, and healing, through the prism of the devastating 2003 earthquake that destroyed Bam, an ancient Iranian village. Photo by Jon Styer.

Film and Forum Series To Spark Interfaith Dialogue

The Center for Interfaith Engagement at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) is offering a forum and film series to spark dialogue and encourage relationships based on mutual respect and understanding.

“Our goal is to increase understanding of Islam and Judaism within the EMU community and strengthen interfaith relationships in the Harrisonburg area through building relationships with local Jewish and Muslim communities through the forum and film series,” said Ed Martin, director of the center.

Each forum series is in Martin Chapel on Wednesdays, at 4:30 p.m. All film series are held in Martin Chapel on Thursdays, at 7 p.m., with follow-up conversation about the film to follow. All events are free and open to the public.


Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2012, 4:30 p.m., Martin Chapel

Yehezkel Landau, Faculty Associate in Interfaith Relations at Hartford Seminary and first holder of the newly endowed chair in Abrahamic Partnerships at Hartford Seminary, will offer professional and personal insights on “Abrahamic Partnerships in Pursuit of Peace.” This talk combines Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations with the wider agenda of religious peacemaking.

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, 4:30 p.m., Martin Chapel

Mark Gopin will speak on his national and international Interfaith Peacebuilding efforts. Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University, Gopin is an expert on the role that religion and culture play in conflicts and conflict resolution.

Thursday, Mar. 14, 4:30 p.m., Martin Chapel

Najeeba Syeed Miller, professor of interreligious education at Claremont School of Theology and Director of the Center for Global Peacebuilding, will speak on, “Prophetic Peacebuilding: Abrahamic Visions for Peace.” A practitioner and educator in conflict resolution among communities of ethnic and religious diversity, her involvements include conducting gang interventions, implementing diversity training in universities and public agencies, conflict resolution in public schools, and environmental conflict resolution.

Wednesday, April 3, 4:30 p.m., Martin Chapel

Amir Akrami and Mark Thiessen Nation – Pluralism, Particularity & the Way to Peace: A Muslim and a Mennonite in Dialogue. Thiessen Nation is Professor of Theology at Eastern Mennonite Seminary and Akrami is Visiting Muslim Scholar at EMU’s Center for Interfaith Engagement. They will each speak from their respective approaches followed by opportunity to engage the audience in discussion.


Thursday, Jan. 24, 7 p.m., Strite Conference Room

Bam 6.6, a story of the human condition, weaves together themes of survival, loss, and healing, through the prism of the devastating 2003 earthquake that destroyed Bam, an ancient Iranian village. The movie transcends geopolitical differences with a simple message of love and hope amidst tragedy, unfolding through the story of two young American victims – a Jewish-American woman, an American businessman – and the Iranian residents of Bam.

Thursday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m., Strite Conference Room

The Syrian Bride During summer of 2000, Mona, a young Druze woman living in the Golan Heights, prepares for her wedding to a successful Syrian actor. Permission to cross the demilitarized zone is extremely rare and must be granted by both sides under special circumstances with the understanding that when she crosses she cannot return to even visit her family. The Israeli exit stamp causes a UN liaison officer to trudge back and forth between Israeli and Syrian officials, giving us a glimpse of the extreme frustration that is daily life for Palestinians.

Thursday, Mar. 21, 7 p.m., Strite Conference Room

Unresolvable? Angered by attacks on his faith and desperate for answers, filmmaker Bryan Hall, a devout Mormon, travels into the heart of the Bible Belt to discover what it means to be a “Christian.” Somewhere between the movement to establish a Christian Nation and those who believe Christ’s Kingdom is not of this world, the lines between fanaticism and devotion are easily blurred. We ask the most difficult and revealing question in all of Christianity: Must you really love your enemies to be a true disciple of Christ?