Hartford Seminary graduate Josiah Idowu-Fearon, D.Min. ?93 and current Bishop of the Diocese of Kaduna, Nigeria will be presented with the Cross of St. Augustine by the Most Reverend and Rt. Honourable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. The award ceremony will take place at Lambeth Palace in London on June 20, 2013. The Cross of St. Augustine award is presented to people who have given long and exceptionally distinguished service to the Anglican Communion.
Archbishop Welby wrote the following in his award letter to Bishop Idowu-Fearon: ?Your extensive service to the Anglican Communion as a whole in the area of Christian-Muslim dialogue, and your ministry in Nigeria promoting dialogue and reconciliation between Christians and Muslims, has been tireless, and you have displayed courage and vision in often the most difficult of circumstances.?
Bishop Idowu-Fearon has been devoted to promoting interfaith dialogue in Nigeria. In remarks made at a 2001 conference on relations between Christianity and Islam, particularly in Nigeria, he said “I’m known as Mr. Dialogue, because I believe in it as a form of witness. But it is becoming a very difficult ministry,” he said, because both sides are largely ignorant about each other.
To carry the commitment to dialogue forward, over the years, he was worked to send students to Hartford Seminary. ?Having been a student at Hartford Seminary and therefore understanding intimately its gift of bridging divides among people of various diversities, I [have worked to arrange] to send a North African Bishop to the Seminary for study. This is my commitment?because in our part of the world, nothing is more important than education and experience in Christian Muslim peace-building.?