Twentieth Building Bridges Seminar: Mercy and Grace

Christian and Muslim Perspectives

Group photo of 2022 Building Bridges participants

Divine mercy and divine graciousness are among the most foundational concepts of the Christian and Islamic traditions and their scriptural witnesses. Although mercy might seem more prominent in Islamic discourse, and grace in Christian thought, both are present in each—and may well be viewed as two facets of a single reality that is central to what Christians and Muslims believe to be God’s declarations about God’s self. Given that it took place during a time of global uncertainty, exploration of the lexicon and grammar of mercy and grace in Christianity and Islam was an apt undertaking for the Building Bridges Seminar, which met from June 13 through 17, 2022. This was the twentieth iteration of a project that was initiated in January 2002 by George Carey (then archbishop of Canterbury), then developed by his successor Rowan Williams over the next 10 years. It has been stewarded by Georgetown University since mid-2012.

This opportunity for select Christian and Muslim scholars to engage a multidimensional topic through formal presentations, deep discussion in plenary, and dialogical close reading of texts in small groups reflects Georgetown’s commitment to furthering interreligious understanding. Participating in Building Bridges 2022 were scholars from Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Finland, Germany, Kenya, Qatar, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Rev. Daniel Madigan, S.J., professor emeritus of theology at Georgetown University, chaired the meeting, which took place in Warrenton, Virginia. In due course, the proceedings of this convening will be published in book form.

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