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May 2022

Taking a Deeper Look

In the coming months we are offering two online events that take a more focused look at topics covered by ICJS Scholars in their courses. In May, Matt Taylor will present an update on the state of Christian Nationalism, and in June, Zeyneb Sayilgan will reflect on the experience of living as a Muslim, following her course on prayer in Islam. Also this month, Zeyneb will lead a tour of the Diyanet Center of America mosque in Lanham, MD as a companion to her course on Muslim Prayer in America. Please join us for these upcoming events! 

And remember, you can always catch up on previous events and courses on the Past Events page on our ICJS website. For example, last month Ben Sax had a conversation with Paul Mendes-Flohr, one of the world’s preeminent scholars on Martin Buber, that you can watch anytime.

The summer months will see a pause in our public courses and online events as we offer specialized programs like the Summer Teachers Institute, the Emerging Religious Leaders course, and the inaugural Faculty Seminar for university professors engaged in Interreligious Studies and Genocide Studies.

Stay tuned for the lineup of our fall events, which we'll highlight in next month's ICJS Insights.

Highlights in this Issue:


The Latest Developments and Trends on Christian Nationalism

In his three-part course last fall, Matthew D. Taylor introduced us to the present and growing threat of Christian Nationalism to our electoral process and pluralistic society. In this one-hour lunchtime Zoom event, Matt will offer a summary and update of these movements that are operating under the radar of public awareness. This movement calls on all of us, but especially Christians, to reckon with the radicalization that is occurring within the Christian community

Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Noon-1 PM EDT Via Zoom



On Being Muslim: An Online Event with Zeyneb Sayilgan

Islam is a religion that nourishes body, heart, mind and soul. The word Islam literally means peace, surrender, and submission. A Muslim is one who has made a conscious decision to freely surrender and submit to the one and only God, the creator of every thing and every being. ICJS Muslim Scholar Zeyneb Sayilgan will explain how Muslims try to embody these ideals in everyday life.

For a more detailed discussion of these issues, check out Zeyneg’s On Being Muslim podcast, available on Buzzsprout, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts

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


A Visit to the Diyanet Center of America

ICJS Muslim Scholar Zeyneb Sayilgan will lead a visit to the Diyanet Center of America, a mosque located in Lanham, MD. This event is intended primarily as a companion experience to the Muslim Prayer in America course. However, it is open to all friends of ICJS. Families and children are welcome. We will meet for the event at the mosque.

Diyanet Center of America
9610 Good Luck Road, Lanham, MD 20706 
Sunday, May 22, 4:00–6:00 PM

Programs for Teachers

Summer Teachers Institute

Monday, July 18-Friday, July 22, 2022
In person at ICJS

Educators need the knowledge and confidence to engage in important conversations and teaching around religion with their students, free from fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. The Summer Teachers Institute will gather secondary school educators across public, independent, and religious schools for cross-curricular learning about religious issues.

Become an ICJS Teacher Fellow

Next cohort starts in October

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. 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. 




The Power of Storytelling—With a Nudge from the Spirit

Allison Harmon, ICJS Teacher Fellow

A storytelling coach helped Allison to experience and teach the Joseph narrative in Genesis with greater passion and empathy. It was a much-needed antidote for joyless pandemic-era teaching that she has embraced.

Read More

The Need for Religious Literacy

Tia Webb, ICJS Teacher Fellow

Tia describes her vision for creating her own school with religious literacy at the center of the curriculum. Students and staff would learn about the differences between different cultures, customs, traditions, and religions.

Read More


Recap | A Conversation with Paul Mendes-Flohr

Following up on his recent course, Martin Buber and the Life of Dialogue, ICJS Jewish Scholar Benjamin Sax led a conversation with Paul Mendes-Flohr, his friend and mentor, on his seminal biography, Martin Buber: A Life of Faith and Dissent.

Watch the Conversation

FellowshipsApply Now to be a Justice Leader Fellow in the Fall

Are you a community, nonprofit, or 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.

Apply Now

Staff Pick | A Trailblazing Rabbi Fights Racism

Rabbi Sandra Lawson, a graduate of the Emerging Religious Leaders program sponsored by ICJS, is helping to address racism in the Reconstructionist movement as the director of racial diversity, equity, and inclusion for Reconstructing Judaism, which trains the movement’s rabbis. This article in The Forward was recommended by ICJS Jewish Scholar Benjamin Sax.

Read The Forward


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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