Berkley Center Knowledge Resources Home Berkley Center Home Berkley Center on iTunes U Berkley Center's YouTube Channel Berkley Center's Vimeo Channel Berkley Center's YouTube Channel Berkley Center's iTunes Page Berkley Center's Twitter Page Berkley Center's Facebook Page Berkley Center's Vimeo Channel Berkley Center's YouTube Channel Berkley Center's iTunes Page WFDD's Twitter Page WFDD's Facebook Page Doyle Undergraduate Initiatives Undergraduate Learning and Interreligious Understanding Survey Junior Year Abroad Network Undergraduate Fellows Knowledge Resources KR Classroom Resources KR Countries KR Traditions KR Topics Berkley Center Home Berkley Center Knowledge Resources Berkley Center Home Berkley Center Forum Back to the Berkley Center World Faiths Development Dialogue Back to the Berkley Center Religious Freedom Project Back to the Berkley Center Religious Freedom Project Blog Back to the Berkley Center Catholic Social Thought Back to the Berkley Center Normative Orders Collaborative
July 28, 2014  |  About the Berkley Center  |  Directions to the Center  |  Subscribe
Programs People Publications Events For Students Resources Religious Freedom Project WFDD


The Building Bridges Seminar

Muslim and Christian Scholars in Dialogue since 2002

For over ten years the Building Bridges Seminar has brought together a range of internationally recognized Christian and Muslim scholars for intensive study. Texts from the Christian and Islamic traditions are used as the basis for discussion in a program that includes public lectures and private sessions. The annual seminars, each lasting three days, have explored a number of the most significant themes in the interface between Islam and Christianity: scripture; prophecy; the common good; justice and rights; human nature; interpretation; science and religion; tradition and modernity; prayer; death, resurrection, and human destiny. Proceedings of several seminars have been published and others are in production.

History of the Seminar

In January 2002, not long after the events of September 11, 2001 had underlined the need for sustained efforts in developing better Christian-Muslim relations, the first Building Bridges Seminar for Muslim and Christian scholars was hosted at Lambeth Palace in London by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey. One of the first overseas visits made by Dr. Rowan Williams, when he succeeded Dr. Carey in 2003, was to chair the second Building Bridges seminar in Qatar. Dr. Williams made a priority of continuing this initiative and chaired further seminars in Washington DC, Sarajevo, Singapore, Rome, Istanbul, and, for his final seminar as chair, in London and Canterbury in 2012.

In 2012 President John J. DeGioia of Georgetown University accepted Dr. Williams' invitation to Georgetown to take over the stewardship of Building Bridges and to continue to support and develop this unique approach to Christian-Muslim dialogue. Building Bridges first came to Georgetown for the third seminar in 2004 and returned in 2006 and again in 2010. A number of faculty members at Georgetown have been participants. Dr. DeGioia has himself been a participant and has been keen to support this initiative as part of a wider vision for the role Georgetown can play in promoting dialogue in many forms.

Daniel Madigan, S.J., Ruesch Family Associate Professor in Georgetown's Department of Theology and a leading Christian scholar of Islam, has taken over as Chair of Building Bridges. Professor Madigan has participated in nearly all the Building Bridges seminars to date and has a wealth of experience in Christian-Muslim dialogue. He works closely with the Academic Director of Building Bridges, the Revd. Dr. David Marshall, Associate Professor of the Practice of Christian-Muslim Relations and Director of the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies at Duke Divinity School, and also Research Fellow of Georgetown's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs. Dr. Marshall has been involved in the seminars since they began in 2002. Dr. Lucinda Mosher, Faculty Associate for Interfaith Studies at Hartford Seminary and a participant in the 2012 seminar, joined the Building Bridges team in July 2012 as Assistant Academic Director. Dr. Thomas Banchoff, Director of the Berkley Center, continues to offer the Center's support to Building Bridges, notably in developing the Building Bridges website. Through the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs, the Church of England will continue to take an active role in Building Bridges.

This website

This site includes information about scholars who have participated, sourcebooks of Islamic and Christian texts assembled for a number of the seminars, video-recordings of some public lectures, and details of volumes recording the seminars; pdfs of some of these publications are also available.

Building Bridges Resources

>> Archbishop Rowan Williams discusses the Building Bridges Seminar with Georgetown President John J. DeGioia
>> Video on Building Bridges featuring Archbishop Rowan Williams
>> Read Lucinda Mosher's Article about Building Bridges

How to contact us

Questions about Building Bridges and this website can be addressed to:

>> Daniel Madigan, S.J., Chair, Building Bridges
>> The Revd Dr. David Marshall, Academic Director, Building Bridges
>> Dr. Lucinda Mosher, Assistant Academic Director, Building Bridges
>> Thomas Banchoff, Director, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs