Catholics & Muslims: History, Theology, Encounters: Part 3: “Francis & Francis: Encountering Muslims, Past & Present”

Part III: September 8, 6 pm CST: “Francis & Francis: Encountering Muslims, Past & Present” Dr. Jason Welle, OFM (Pontifical Institute of Arabic & Islamic Studies, Rome)

The 1965 Vatican II document Nostra Aetate encouraged Catholics and Muslims to “forget the past” and focus on a more positive future together, one based on dialogue and cooperation. Since then, Catholics at all levels, from popes to parishioners, have heeded this call. However, the complicated, centuries-long history of Christian-Muslim relations demands attention. Instead of “forgetting the past,” Catholics need to revisit this history, both on their own and with their Muslim partners.

Join us this summer for a webinar series on the history of encounter between Catholics and Muslims. In this series, we will examine Nicholas of Cusa’s approach to the Qur’an; the history of Mary as a bridge or barrier in Christian relations with Muslims; and St. Francis and Pope Francis as models of fraternal encounter.

No preparation is necessary, and participants can attend according to their availability.

This session will consider two Christian-Muslim encounters: the first between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan al-Malik in 1219 in Egypt during the Crusades, and the second between Pope Francis and Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb in Abu Dhabi eight centuries later, on Feb. 4, 2019, when they co-signed the historic “Document on Human Fraternity.” How have personal relationships between Christians and Muslims affected both the practice of interreligious dialogue and the Catholic theology of Islam?

Dr. Jason Welle, OFM, holds a PhD in Theological and Religious Studies from Georgetown University and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame and Catholic Theological Union. He is currently Director of Studies and Extraordinary Professor at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI) in Rome, where he teaches courses in Islamic Studies and Muslim-Christian relations. He is co-editor of several recent works including a two-volume collection of papers from the Georgetown University conference Vatican II: Remembering the Future – Ecumenical, Interfaith and Secular Explorations of the Council’s Legacy and Promise (2018). Dr. Welle is a Franciscan friar of the Assumption B.V.M. Province in the United States.

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