[dropcap]A [/dropcap] diverse segment of the community gathered on Mar. 30 at the University of Miami’s Newman Alumni Center to engage in an intellectual discussion about the universality of different faith traditions.
The Ismaili Council for Florida, the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences, MCCJ, and Temple Beth Sholom co-sponsored an Interfaith Lecture titled “Spirituality and Universality in Islam.”
The guest speaker, Dr. Shah-Kazemi, is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London and managing editor of the Encyclopædia Islamica.
He maintained through passages of the Qu’ran that Islam “…explicitly refers to the divine ordainment of religious diversity.”
Following the lecture, Father Frank Corbishley, Episcopalian Chaplain of the University of Miami since 1994, discussed the importance of remembering the past mistakes of all Abrahamic faiths.
“Humility demands that we acknowledge that we all have baggage, and that the other religions also have something beautiful to contribute,” he advocated.
Subsequently Rabbi Gary Glickstein discussed how Judaism embraces not only all faiths but also those without a faith. Rabbi Glickstein has been the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Sholom for the past 30 years and is the founding executive director of the Woldenberg Center for Jewish Life.
A spirited question and answer session followed the panel discussion.
Dr. Gayle Pagnoni, chair of the Religious Studies Department at Palmer Trinity School, remarked that the event was “the kind of intellectual tradition rich among the children of Abraham.”
Organized as one of the Ismaili Council for Florida’s ongoing outreach and community engagement initiatives, the council intends to facilitate many such discussions of pluralism and interfaith relationships.