The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Dallas area Interfaith Dialogue features SMU faculty, staff

The Institute of Interfaith Dialogue (IID) sponsored its sixth annual dinner in the Renaissance Hotel in Dallas on Sept. 20, drawing leaders from Dallas and the surrounding area. Well over 200 people attended the dinner.

More than 20 Southern Methodist University faculty and staff attended the program including Provost Ellen Jackofsky and Provost Ellen Pryor, as well as Chaplain William Finnin.

Carolyn Barta, a member of the Meadows journalism faculty, said she learned about the program by traveling to Turkey with a religiously diverse group of members.

Other local dignitaries included Carrollton Mayor Becky Miller and Duncanville Mayor David Green.

The dinner program opened with a few words of meditation followed by a speech from representative Dunn who is serving his sixth term as state representative.

Those attending learned about recent developments at IID. The speakers also talked about the success of the dinner in bringing together a diverse city like Dallas. Building friendship and tolerance is an important goal of IID. Speakers mentioned that Christianity, Islam and Judaism all bow down to the same lord.

“The Institute of Interfaith Dialog is a great way for both students and faculty to exchange information and commonalities of different religious cultures,” Barta said.

The IID sponsors dinners, discussions, travels and conferencing. All the conferences openly invite any student who wishes to attend.

Finnin strongly supports the program on campus. The IID is considered part of campus ministry. Although small, with each group consisting of about 20 core members, the group interacts with several hundred people at SMU.

Vice president of SMU’s Interfaith Dialog Group Abdullah Kumas said that the goal of the group is to bring both the SMU and Dallas community together to discuss vital issues while growing from one another.

Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim contemporary thinker, is known as a revolutionary in helping the cooperation of religious communities.

Gulen reminds members to “become inspired with faith and love for others,” and this is exactly what The Institute of Interfaith Dialog intends to do.

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