Perspectives on Faith and Trauma

Yago Abdeledo Madueno, Father Richard Baawobr and Ed Martin, CIE engagement 02/28/2013 Russ Pyle, CIE Forum 10/12/2013 Seyed Amir Akrami, RUMI series Fall 2013 Yehezkel Landau, CIE Forum 02/06/2013 Marc Gopin, CIE Forum 02/19/2013

Join us in Chicago Sunday, March 15th, from 3-5 PM

Faith and Trauma: Abrahamic Perspectives will explore the relationship between religion and trauma—both the ways in which our faith traditions are implicated in personal and communal trauma, as well as the rich resources ways these traditions offer for helping people cope with and heal from the effects of traumatic experiences and events. Our presenters will offer insights as individual interpreters of their respective faith traditions as a stimulus for conversation among the event attendees. Light refreshments will be served.

Rabbi Niles Goldstein, Associate Director of Development, The Center for Interfaith Engagement at Eastern Mennonite University. Rabbi Goldstein is the founder of the New Shul in Manhattan, NYC and author of nine books on Judaism and contemporary spirituality.

Dr. Carolyn Stauffer, Assistant Prof. of Applied Social Sciences, Eastern Mennonite University. Dr. Stauffer is the former senior trauma counselor and founder of HIV/AIDS Program in Soweto, South Africa.

Dr. Timothy J. Gianotti, Director of Islamic Studies & Associate Prof. of Arabic & Islamic Studies at American Islamic College. Dr. Gianotti is the founder of the Islamic Institute for Spiritual Formation in Toronto, ON and author of Al-Ghazali’s Unspeakable Doctrine of the Soul.

Reception Hall, 1st floor,
American Islamic College Dormitory Bldg
640 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago, IL



We welcome you and want to engage you regardless of your religion or tradition, because we value your difference from us. This includes those of you who wouldn’t use words like “faith” or “God” in your understanding at all. We want to engage you because, speaking for ourselves in our language, we expect to meet our God in meeting with you—even if you’d describe the experience otherwise. That is our passion.

We commit to you that we will:

  • honor and respect you. We will do our utmost not to deceive you.
  • listen to you with respect and a desire to learn. We will try to understand you, even when we disagree.
  • clearly present our point of view; the stories, texts and understandings we have been given. We have something to offer. So do you.
  • struggle with what seems incompatible between us, remaining committed to relationship with you.
  • discover our common ground and build on it in concrete ways. We believe in service.
  • point out when you confuse or alarm us, and work with you on that. We like negotiating.
  • strengthen our hospitality, comfort and enjoyment while we explore our differences. We need to live together, even when we remain different.

If you will make the same commitment to us, we have engagement.

What we do

  • Provide a safe place for engagement among persons across the spectrum of faiths and belief systems. We are particularly interested in engaging persons who have felt uncomfortable with compromising dialogue.
  • Offer a range of speakers representing the Abrahamic faith traditions to give input in campus-wide forums, classroom presentations, in seminars, and in workshops.
  • Host visiting Jewish and Muslim faculty to engage in theological reflection and interfaith dialogue on many issues with EMU faculty and students.
  • Cultivate international exchange opportunities with universities and institutes in other countries and religious contexts that enable faculty and student exchanges providing opportunities for interfaith dialogue.
  • Strengthen interfaith relationships in the Harrisonburg area through building relationships with local Jewish and Muslim communities. Efforts include a summer Interfaith Peace Camp for children from the three local faith communities as well as student and community visits to the mosque and synagogue for prayer and worship services.

Mission of the Center for Interfaith Engagement

The Center for Interfaith Engagement at Eastern Mennonite University promotes collaboration among religious and nonreligious scholars and practitioners; provides education in our principles and practices, and creates a safe space for developing authentic relationships and mutual understanding both between and within communities. The Center for Interfaith Engagement partners with people and organizations for interfaith education and service to promote a more just and peaceful world.

What’s our logo all about?

Abraham’s Tent was open to the four winds, a safe place of hospitality towards strangers and engagement with them.

  • this is where we Anabaptists engage with those wholly outside our tradition, including people of all religions and those who profess no religion at all.
  • this is a place where we Anabaptists engage those whose traditions overlap with ours as children of Abraham, among whom there has been much conflict. Under this rubric we include all Christians, Jews and Muslims.

More questions? See our frequently asked questions (FAQ) page for discussion of why, how, and other issues.

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