Interfaith Dialogue: The Art of Listening

Authors

  • Mary Keator Westfield State University http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9346-2850
  • Warren J. Savage Albert and Amelia Ferst Interfaith Center at Westfield State University
  • Alessa Foley Student at Westfield State University
  • Matthew Furtado Student at Westfield State University
  • Hibo Hussein Student at Westfield State University
  • Meytal Raikhman Student at Westfield State University
  • Jessica Gray Student at Westfield State University

Keywords:

Listening, Intersubjective dialogue, Interfaith dialogue, Building just communitites, World Cafe,

Abstract

The political climate and discourse during the 2016 presidential campaign was divisive and unwelcoming of refugees, immigrants, Muslims and other religious minorities. This toxic atmosphere was reflected on college and universities campuses throughout the country.  At Westfield State University Jewish, Christian and Muslim students were the targets of verbal attacks, prejudice and disrespect. The Muslim students, in particular, were afraid to walk around campus and attend their classes. The Interfaith Chaplains Council along with the Interfaith Advisory Council, comprised of faculty, staff and students met to discuss the current concerns of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim students and collaborated together to create a listening event based on the World Café model. This article addresses listening as a contemplative practice for building just communities and shares the process that went into the creation of “Interfaith Dialogue: The Art of Listening” event as well as participants responses to the event.

 

 

Author Biographies

Mary Keator, Westfield State University

Mary Keator Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Westfield State University, Westfield, MA. Mary’s courses focus on the development and flourishing of the human being through the study of Ancient and Medieval World Literature and writing courses such as Writing about Yoga. In addition, Mary lectures in the Religious Studies Department and the Education Department at Our Lady of the Elms College, Chicopee, MA. Mary is author of Lectio Divina as Contemplative Pedagogy(Routledge 2018) as well as contemplative articles including, “Reclaiming the Deep Reading Brain in the Digital Age,” and “The Gift of the Sublime: A Contemplative Reading of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein.” A member of Contemplative Mind in Society, Spiritual Directors International and RYTA (registered yoga teacher), Mary's research focuses on ways to cultivate and deepen what it means to be human in an age of advanced technology.

Warren J. Savage, Albert and Amelia Ferst Interfaith Center at Westfield State University

Fr. Warren J. Savage is a priest of the Diocese of Springfield. He is the Catholic Chaplain, and Director of the Albert and Amelia Ferst Interfaith Center at Westfield State University; Lecturer, Religious Studies Department at Our Lady of the Elms College, Chicopee, MA; Instructor for the Diocesan Permanent Diaconate Formation Program; Chairperson of the Diocesan Committee for the Continuing Education and Formation of Clergy; Member of the Presbyteral Council; Member of Spiritual Directors International, The Academy of Homiletics, and The Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality.

Alessa Foley, Student at Westfield State University

Alessa Foley is a student at Westfield State University.

Matthew Furtado, Student at Westfield State University

Matthew Furtado is a student at Westfield State University.

Hibo Hussein, Student at Westfield State University

Hibo Hussein is a student at Westfield State University.

Meytal Raikhman, Student at Westfield State University

Meytal Raikhman is a student at Westfield State University.

Jessica Gray, Student at Westfield State University

Jessica Gray is a student at Westfield State University.

References

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Published

2017-11-27