WASHINGTON (December 31, 2003) -- The Mid-Atlantic Dialogue of Catholics and Muslims, sponsored by the Islamic Society of North America, Plainfield, Indiana, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Washington, DC, has finished a sixty-five page study resulting from discussion over an eight-year period.
Revelation: Christian and Muslim Perspectives is a jointly prepared document with chapters on Christian and Islamic perspectives on revelation and a concluding chapter on Muslim and Catholic responses to scriptural themes. There is an introduction on this dialogue and interreligious dialogue between Christians and Muslims and a preface signed by the co-chairs of the dialogue: Bishop Kevin M. Britt, Diocese of Grand Rapids, and Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, Executive Secretary, Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
In a statement issued with the text, Bishop Britt said, "This text is the result of years of honest and scholarly dialogue between Catholic and Muslim leaders in the Midwest. Although not an end product in itself, this document is a gateway to entering into a deeper understanding of our shared belief in One God who has revealed Himself throughout history. It represents the fruit of our shared love of that God and of the people who love his word."
Dr. Syeed has also issued a statement: "This was not the usual interreligious dialogue but a step forward into an ongoing theological conversation. Over the eight years when we met, we grew together as friends and religious leaders through our reflection upon revelation and how we interpret our scriptures, and our report represents a step into more scholarly exchanges between Christians and Muslims in the United States. This text will promote greater mutual understanding between Christians and Muslims in the United States."
The Midwest Dialogue of Catholics and Muslims began meeting in 1996. Most of the annual meetings took place at the headquarters of the Islamic Society of North America in Plainfield. Muslim and Catholic participants from Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin attended.
Plans are underway for the text to be published jointly by the ISNA and the USCCB.
The Midwest Dialogue of Catholics and Muslims is one of three regional dialogues meeting annually and co-sponsored by the USCCB through the Bishops' Subcommittee on Interreligious Dialogue.
For more information contact: Bishop Kevin M. Britt, 616-243-0491 and Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, 317-839-1812. Other contacts are Father Leo Lefebure, 914-423-4459 and Dr. John Borelli, 301-325-5004, and Sheikh Muhammad Nur Abdullah, 636-394-7878 and Dr. Irfan M. Khan, 708-596-5412.