The Role of Mary in Christianity and Islam

Join us during this celebratory time of the year as members of Hartford Seminary’s Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations explore the role of Mary in the Gospels and the Qur’an, and in Muslim and Christian belief.

Mary, mother of Jesus/’Isa, plays a prominent role in the Gospels and in the Qur’an, having a complete chapter named in her honor. During December, the Annunciation of the birth of Jesus by the Angel Gabriel and the birth of Jesus is read in Christian communities during the Advent and Christmas seasons. However, the Qur’an also provides a record of the Annunciation and birth of ‘Isa, which is an important sign of God’s message and an inspiration for Muslim belief.

Our speakers include:

  • Chaplain Aida Mansoor, Coordinator of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program, who will speak about Mary from a Muslim woman’s perspective. Muslims see Mary as the most important woman, chosen by God for her faith and piety to have Jesus (pbuh).
  • The Rev. Carl Chudy, Catholic priest, a member of the Xaverian Missionary order, and Hartford Seminary Doctor of Ministry student, who will speak on the principle shift  of Catholic mariology since Vatican II, as a movement away from honoring the privileges and splendors of Mary for their own sake in what has often been called an ‘isolated mariology,’ to an emphasis on Mary as one with us.
  • Dr. Hans Harmakaputra, Visiting Assistant Professor in Comparative Theology and Muslim-Christian Relations, who will draw primarily from the Gospels’ depiction and the ways in which Mary inspires Protestants in piety.
  • Dr. Hossein Kamaly, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, who will talk about the Advent in the Masnavi of Rumi, and the presence of Mary in public piety.

The session will be moderated by Dr. David D. Grafton, Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations.

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