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June 2022

An Interreligious Response to this Perilous Moment

Over the past month, we have been confronted with true evil in the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde. This comes in a troubling context of a rise in racist attacks and assaults on our democratic norms and practices. Faith communities across the country have struggled with how to respond. At ICJS, we too are asking ourselves, how can we best meet the needs of the moment?

Please take a moment to read The Urgency of Interreligious Pluralism by Heather Miller Rubens, ICJS’ Executive Director and Roman Catholic Scholar, as she writes about how we must be louder about naming the threats to our democracy and how we need to build broader and deeper coalitions of inspired, capable champions for religious pluralism from diverse sectors of society. 

We are all feeling fear and outrage in these troubling times. ICJS wants to channel the fear and outrage of this moment into a project of action and building.

Highlights in this Issue:


On Being Muslim, with ICJS Muslim Scholar Zeyneb Sayilgan

Did you miss Zeyneb Sayilgan’s course on Muslim Prayer in America? Or do you just want to hear more? Join us for Wednesday, June 8 for a noontime event, On Being Muslim. Zeyneb will discuss how adherents of Islam practice the ideals of peace, surrender and submission to the one God in their everyday lives.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Noon-1 PM EDT Via Zoom


Apply This Month to be a Justice Leader Fellow in the Fall 

Are you a community, nonprofit, and civic leader with a dream and a passion for a more equitable Baltimore? Consider joining the next cohort of the Justice Leaders Fellowship, an intensive 10-month program (September 2022 through June 2023) that draws on the rich resources of diverse religious traditions to inform and inspire a more just Baltimore and to discover how religious pluralism is key to a democratic society. Application deadline is Monday, June 27, 2022.


The 2022 ICJS Manekin-Clark Lecture, Oct. 24th 

Dalia Mogahed, director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington, D.C., will be the 2022 ICJS Manekin-Clark Lecturer on Monday, October 24 at 7:00 pm. Mogahed leads ISPU’s pioneering research and thought leadership programs on American Muslims.

ICJS Summer Teachers Institute

Monday, July 18-Friday, July 22, 2022

Secondary school teachers are invited to participate in a FREE four-and-a-half day workshop that will consider how we as educators talk about religion in our classrooms and why it is important to build an interreligious society here in Baltimore. Mornings will be spent learning and discussing pedagogy and religious literacy. In the afternoons, participants will visit local congregations.

For more information and to complete the interest form, check out our website.

ICJS Teachers Fellowship

October 2022-June 2023

ICJS Teacher Fellows develop skills to transform classrooms and schools into places where learning about religious diversity prepares students for fuller participation in the life of our city, nation, and world.

Because many young people first encounter religious difference in the classroom, teachers are uniquely positioned to foster a culture of religious understanding and inclusion. Helping teachers gain facility in leading these intellectual and human encounters is a key goal of the ICJS Teachers Fellowship. 

The 10-month Fellowship provides professional development opportunities for educators to explore how to provide students with an informed appreciation of the religious diversity that contributes to civic life. This cohort-based program equips educators to foster interreligious literacy in their classrooms and to become interreligious leaders in their schools. 


The Urgency of Interreligious Pluralism

Heather Miller Rubens, Ph.D., ICJS Executive Director and Roman Catholic Scholar

A healthy, functioning democracy is a necessary foundation for the interreligious society, and currently democracy in the United States is in peril. The undermining of democracy creates an urgent threat to the ICJS mission, vision, and work. Securing democratic norms and practices, as well as confronting Christian Nationalism, are both interfaith issues central to the mission of ICJS and need to be organizational priorities.

Read More

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Recap | Muslim Prayer in America

ICJS Muslim Scholar Zeyneb Sayilgan, Ph.D., explored the history, theology, and practice of prayer in the lives of Muslims in the United States. The course included three sessions: 1) Theological Foundations: Prayer in the Qur’an; 2) Practical Embodiment: Prayer in the Life of Prophet Muhammad; and 3) Culture and Context: Prayer in American Muslim Life.

View these videos and our previous courses on our Past Events page on our website.

Staff Pick | How Politics Poisoned the Evangelical Church

This Atlantic magazine article is recommended by Protestant Scholar Matthew D. Taylor, Ph.D. as an excellent diagnosis of what is happening within and among Evangelical churches, the role Christian nationalism is playing, and the real turmoil that is emerging.

Read the Atlantic

Staff Pick | Religious and racial tolerance starts with all of us

Omer Awan, M.D., a good friend to ICJS and a 2020-21 Congregational Leader Fellow, wrote this very personal account of his recent experience of racial profiling and bias as a practicing Muslim in Maryland that was published in the Baltimore Sun.

Read the Baltimore Sun


About Us 

The Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies (ICJS) works to dismantle religious bias and bigotry to foster an interreligious society in which dialogue replaces division, friendship overcomes fear, and education eradicates ignorance. Through courses, fellowships, online events, and scholarship initiatives, ICJS builds learning communities where religious difference becomes a powerful force for good. ICJS is an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization.


Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies
956 Dulaney Valley Rd  | Baltimore, Maryland 21204
410.494.7161 | info@icjs.org | icjs.org

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