Finding Common Ground | Pepperdine University

Finding Common Ground

Reconciliation Among the Children of Abraham

November 2, 2009

Finding Common Ground conference - Pepperdine University View the slideshow.

About the Conference

Jews, Muslims, and Christians all share a common heritage; we are all people of the book. Pepperdine University was pleased to convene this one-day conference that brought together leaders from the three great monotheistic religions to discuss our common ground. The event focused on shared issues that unite our communities.

Learn about the featured speakers.

Topics included:

Interpreting Sacred Texts

All Abrahamic faiths maintain that sacred texts are divinely inspired. But each faith struggles with the question of interpreting sacred text and applying it to the modern age. This panel wrestled with the foundational question of how one understands the method by which God has communicated to his people.

Dealing with the Outsider in Our Midst

Every Jew, Christian, and Muslim struggles with the question of the "other." In a pluralistic society we routinely rub shoulders with individuals who share our space but do not share our faith. This panel focused on how the Abrahamic faiths address the question of the outsider who is among us, but not of us.

Why Faith Matters

All people of faith struggle to respond to disbelief. In the keynote lecture, Rabbi Wolpe answered the new atheism by shining a light on religion’s deepest scars while at the same time showing how religions have also (almost) always been a force of good in the world.

National Identity and Religious Pluralism

Many nations of the world are deeply religious in their orientation. But that religious experience is often pluralistic, spanning a continuum from extremism to extreme accommodation. In this panel, political leaders from Turkey and Israel addressed religious pluralism as it is expressed in their respective countries.

Videos

Interpreting Sacred Texts
Watch the full video here.

Dealing with the Outsider in Our Midst
Watch the full video here.

Why Faith Matters
Watch the full video here.

National Identity and Religious Pluralism
Watch the full video here.

Conference Quotes

"Sharia law supports common principles: life, intellect, family, property, and religion. The theology of life to combat the theology of death."
Jihad Turk, Islamic Center of Southern California

"You cannot…cut windows in other peoples' souls. All you can do is see belief enacted. When we speak about what faith should be in the world, there's a part of me that thinks that all we're really talking about is how faith should be enacted in this world."
Rabbi David Wolpe, Sinai Temple

"We must not sacrifice our own identities in the quest to love others. Rather, we should recognize that they are like us—they are their own 'you', and their lives are every bit as precious, valuable ... and important as ours."
Mark Diamond, Board of Rabbis