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AQUINAS COLLEGE TO HOST INTERFAITH CONFERENCE OCTOBER 16

October 13, 2008 - Grand Rapids, Michigan (October 13, 2008) - Aquinas College will be the site for a day-long interfaith conference “One God, Three Scriptures: Judaism, Christianity & Islam.” The conference on Thursday, October 16, 2008 is sponsored by the West Michigan Academic Consortium and will feature David Nirenberg, Ph.D., a University of Chicago Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought. Professor Nirenberg will deliver the morning’s keynote address entitled “Sibling Rivalries: Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the College’s Wege Student Center third floor Ballroom.

Professor Nirenberg’s work has focused on the ways in which Jewish, Christian and Islamic cultures constitute themselves by inter-relating with or thinking about each other. His prize-winning first book, Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages (1996), discusses social and cultural relations between Christians, Jews and Muslims in medieval Europe and the Mediterranean. His most recent work studies how each of these religious communities defines itself and makes sense of its world by thinking about others. Nirenberg has published dozens of scholarly articles in four languages and is a frequent contributor on religious issues to The New Republic and other magazines.

The conference begins with registration at 9:30 a.m. with Registration and is open to the public free of charge. The morning keynote address will be followed by a reservations-only lunch at 12:30 p.m. and breakout sessions, starting at 2:00 p.m. An evening keynote address entitled “Unto Every Prophet an Adversary: The Worldview of Political Islam” will be held in Kretschmer Recital Hall in the Art and Music Center, starting at 7:00 p.m. A dessert buffet will follow at 8:30 p.m.

The conference includes the following break-out sessions:

Habeeb Awad, Hope College -- "Why do you Speak of Three Gods? Is not God
One and Indivisible" -- 2 p.m., Room 234, Jarecki-Lacks Center

Sheldon Kopperl, GVSU -- "Searching the Scriptures for Scientific & Medical Knowledge"
2 p.m., Room 235, Jarecki-Lacks Center

Agshin Jafarov, Western Theological Seminary, "Contemporary Developments of Islam in Post-Soviet Islamic Republics,” – 2 p.m., Donnelly Conference Center

John Cooper, Calvin Seminary – “Do we Really Worship one God? A Christian View"
3:30 p.m., Room 234, Jarecki-Lacks Center

Bert DeVries, Calvin College – “Critical Review of the CD Obsession"
3:30 p.m., Room 235, Jarecki-Lacks Center

Ali M. Metwalli, Aquinas College, "Understanding Islam, Truth vs. Fiction"
2 and 3:30 p.m., Donnelly Conference Center

The six-member West Michigan Academic Consortium includes representatives from Aquinas College, Calvin College, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Valley State University, Hope College and Western Theological Seminary.

For more information, contact Diana Dixon at Aquinas College at (616) 632-2158 or diana.dixon@aquinas.edu.