Much of the interfaith conversation between Islam and Christianity takes place at a narrowly theological level. This talk is going to direct us to a different plane, that of the prophetic tradition of being concerned with “the least” of God’s children. The conversation by Omid Safi, a leading scholar of Islam, taps into the legacy of the teachings of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights era, and applies the Riverside Church teachings of Dr. King to contemporary America and America’s involvement with the Middle East and Muslim majority world.
Omid Safi is a leading Muslim public intellectual, award-winning teacher and speaker. He has been a Professor of Islamic Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in contemporary Islamic thought and classical Islam. He is the Chair for the Islamic Mysticism group at the American Academy of Religion, the largest international organization devoted to the academic study of religion. He has been nominated six times at Colgate University for the “Professor of the Year” award, and before that twice at Duke University for the Distinguished Lecturer award. At the University of North Carolina, he received the award for mentoring minority students in 2009, and the Sitterson Teaching Award for Professor of the Year in April of 2010.
He has been among the most frequently sought speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing frequently in the New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN, and international media. He also contributes to the Huffington Post and Religion News, and is the editor of the volume Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2003).