Interfaith dialogue scholar to speak at several events in Lawrence

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Scholar, educator and author Celene Ibrahim is set to visit with local faith-based institutions and both universities in Lawrence and discuss her research about dialogue among religions.

The Visiting Scholar in Religion program of Lawrence — a program in which the University of Kansas School of Education and Human Sciences engages with educators from other universities across the country and world — will host Ibrahim as its 2023 guest speaker, according to a news release from Reverend Kent Winters-Hazelton.

Ibrahim’s expertise is focused on Islamic tradition, interfaith dialogue and women’s studies, according to the release, which states she is “uniquely gifted to speak to some of the challenges facing interfaith relations in our religiously pluralistic society.”

Along with being a current faculty member at Groton School in Boston, where she teaches philosophy and comparative religion, Ibrahim previously taught at several other institutions and served as the co-director of the Center for Inter-Religious and Communal Leadership Education, a nationally recognized program on interfaith education, according to the release. She has also authored three published works.

As part of the Visiting Scholar in Religion’s 2023 program, Ibrahim will speak at several events around Lawrence this Thursday through Sunday. She’ll present on a variety of topics under the theme of “Uncommon Alliances: Interfaith Dialogue in our Contemporary Age,” the news release said.

“I cannot imagine a coalition of event planners that touches as wide a diversity of Lawrence’s population as this program,” Winters-Hazelton said.

• Thursday, March 23: Ibrahim on Thursday during the school day will be presenting to students at Haskell Indian Nations University and KU, according to the release. In the evening, she will give a public lecture, entitled “Uncommon Alliances, Common Good: Making Religious and Philosophical Diversity Our Strength.” That event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St.

• Friday, March 24: Hosted by the Islamic Center of Lawrence, Ibrahim will lead a women’s discussion about “Women and Gender in the Qur’an,” according to the release. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Islamic Center of Lawrence, 1917 Naismith Drive.

Following her presentation, called “Islam and Dialogue: Qur’anic Perspectives on Other Religions,” attendees will be able to participate in the Maghrib prayer, which will conclude the daily fast of Ramadan at 7:15 p.m., according to the release. Members of the Islamic Center will prepare dinner.

• Saturday, March 25: The Lawrence Jewish Community Congregation on Saturday will host Ibrahim, who will present on the topic “Jewish-Muslim Feminist Futures,” according to the release. That event is scheduled for noon Saturday at the Lawrence Jewish Community Congregation, 917 Highland Avenue. 

At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Ibrahim will share a presentation on the topic, “Sacred Wisdom for Contemporary Times: Lessons on Thriving from Biblical Women in the Qur’an,” with Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vermont St.

• Sunday, March 26: To conclude the series of events, Ibrahim will teach an adult education class at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at First Baptist Church, 1330 Kasold Drive. The program will also be livestreamed via Zoom.

All events are free of cost and open to the public. Visit KU’s website to learn more about the Visiting Scholar in Religion program.

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Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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