This I Believe: Perspectives From a University Muslim Chaplain
by Imam Adeel J. Zeb
In this beautiful reflection, part of the This I Believe campaign, Duke University’s Muslim Chaplain Imam Zeb writes: “I believe that interfaith dialogue is part of my faith, duty, and calling as a Muslim. I believe as the Qur'an says that we were created to "know one another" (49:13), and that my duty to people of other faiths is to treat them with piety and justice in a peaceful setting.” With a uniting voice, he speaks of the struggles and joys felt by his Christian neighbor, Jewish friend, black cousin, gay brother and Asian mother. Read more here about the work that Imam Zeb feels called to do and his belief in the power of human kindness.
At Mass. Prison, Inmates And Victims Get A Chance At Dialogue
by Dina Kraft
90.9 WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station
“Hurt people hurt people. Healed people heal people.”
With his eyes closed and his body trembling, Jefferson Hudson, a 46-year-old inmate at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute (MCI)-Framingham begins his public apology: "Today I would like to say that I'm sorry." Jefferson, who is serving his sentence for murder, is participating in the Restorative Justice and Responsibility Retreat, now in its fourth year. NPR's Dina Kraft explains that the purpose of the retreat is to "[bring] 'inside men,' as the incarcerated call themselves, face to face with judges, pastors and relatives of murder victims." This unique meeting is one of the only encounters of its kind in the United States. Kim Odom, whose 13-year-old son was shot and killed in 2007, shared at the retreat: “I thought this would be the closest experience I have to dialogue with men who perhaps have the same mindset of the person or persons who contributed to my son’s murder and perhaps could give me answers to that lingering question, ‘Why?...The retreat has created a mixture of emotions and most importantly has provided opportunity to begin a healing process of this survivor journey." Read more here about the retreat and the experiences of those who participated.
CONVERSING THROUGH ART
As we highlighted last week, more than 3,700 migrants died crossing the Mediterranean last year. Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei recently set up a studio on the Greek island of Lesbos, the main entry point for tens of thousands of refugees. In order to raise awareness and promote dialogue, he's been collecting thousands life jackets discarded by refugees when they reach the coast for an installation that opened this past Saturday in Berlin. Some 14,000 of the orange life vests were wrapped around the pillars of the city’s concert hall. See photos of his exhibit and read more here.
MUSIC & MYSTICISM
In Chestnut Hill, a vibrant community of spiritual seekers adds music to its mysticism
by A.D. Amorosi
For The Daily News, philly.com
The Center for Contemporary Mysticism (CfCM) in Chestnut Hill, PA aims to stretch the boundaries of what's sacred. Members of the Center at St. Paul's Episcopal Church seek ways to "connect with things spiritual and mystical in the world when we might not be looking for it or even recognize it as such," says Joseph Irwin, the Center's coordinator. "It's a safe and wonderful place for dialogue." Does this community speak to you? Where do you find refuge and the ability to have dialogue in an open and meaningful way?