Give us a brief description of your background (home country, family, education, etc.)
I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas. I studied religion and philosophy at Lyon College, a small Arkansas liberal arts college. I also have studied and worked at French and Albanian schools Université de Poitiers and Univeriteti Marin Barletti.
What got you interested in interfaith dialogue and the program at Hartford Seminary?
My own evolving view of Christianity developed with an appreciation of the beauty of other religions. My own family’s Jewish heritage and the influence of paganism on Christianity were starting points for exploring other faiths. While studying in France and Albania I saw examples of religiously diverse peaceful societies which should be more common throughout the world, and in the US.
Briefly describe the conflicts that you would like to address at home after your year at Hartford Seminary.
Literalist Biblical interpretation is a wall between many Christians and their neighbors who are of other faiths, scientists, seeing family planning, or LGBT. It is equally important for humanists, progressive religious people, and people of other faiths to understand the reasoning of religious conservatives. I want to build skills for advancing dialogue about the Kingdom of Heaven and the Children of God. I want to build personal relationships through community activities and increase my understanding of how religious communities work.