Interfaith Forums to explore religious backgrounds

March 12, 2015 | Events, UToday, — Languages, Literature and Social Sciences
By Lindsay Mahaney

Members from The University of Toledo and the community are invited to gather and share their perspectives on religiously based topics this semester at UT’s Center for Religious Understanding.

The center will host two Interfaith Forums, “Fiction and Fact” Monday, March 16, and “Holy Days and Holidays” Tuesday, April 7, at 4 p.m. in University Hall Room 4700.

Finger-food snacks will be served at the free, public events.

Participants will join in small group discussions to explore different religious outlooks and traditions as well as to share their own perspectives.

“The forums are important because they are interesting and real ways of hearing from people who think differently about religion than you do — not just a book or a lecture, which come at arm’s length, but a real, live person who inhabits and is living out an entirely different way of thinking about what the point of life is and what is most real, valuable and the deepest source of human fulfillment,” said Dr. Jeanine Diller, director of the UT Center for Religious Understanding.

The first forum will take place during Muslim Awareness Week and is co-sponsored by the UT Muslim Student Association. With the goal of dispelling religious stereotypes, participants will talk about common prejudices toward other religions and how to work toward better understanding.

The second forum will take place on the eve of Holi Toledo — a UT recreation of the cultural event in India celebrated by throwing colored powder.

Diller said the forums are modeled after a similar program offered by the Lubar Institute at the University of Wisconsin in Madison that is focused on alleviating tension between people of Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths.

For more information, contact Ajay Lingireddy, an intern at the UT Center for Religious Understanding, at

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