Tuesday I had the honor to participate in a panel discussion at Five Towns College, https://www.ftc.edu/ . Their Performing Arts Center is showing Disgraced, a 2012 play by Ayad Akhtar. The one-act play features a religiously and ethincally diverse cast of characters who come to learn just how complex their shared and conflicting identities really are. For the event today, the actors performed excerpts from the show for the students and others in attendance, and then an array of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish clergy and professionals spoke about some of the themes in the play and common misperceptions, particularly regarding Islam, which plays a major role in the plot. This was one of the times participating in ecumenical programs made me proud. The students and others present seemed really moved by what was presented. Some important points about the nature of Islam in particular and religion in general came out, and above all, the lesson that nothing can take the place of
We are faith leaders representing many different traditions and congregations who seek to promote understanding, dialogue, and common purpose in our community. This space offers members of our association an opportunity to share reflections with the broader community. The writings represent our individual views, not the positions of the Association or of our respective congregations. We aim to model dialogue that welcomes a diversity of ideas and perspectives grounded in friendship and respect.