Buddhist and Christian Interspirituality

Discussion group facilitated by Susan Stabile
November 11, November 18, November 25, December 2, December 9

University of St. Thomas - registration required (see below)

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Monday, November 11, 7:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Monday, November 18, 7:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Monday, November 25, 7:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Monday, December 2, 7:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Monday, December 9, 7:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.

This is a discussion group for those whose spirituality in some way reflects elements of Christianity and Buddhism, including Christians who incorporate Buddhist practices into their prayer, those who have either left Christianity for Buddhism or flirted with doing so, or those trying to navigate a spiritual path as Buddhist Christians (or Christian Buddhists).  It is intended to provide a forum for sharing positive experience and practices, as well as questions, challenges, and struggles.

This discussion group is not for those looking for basic instruction in Buddhism or Christianity or interested simply in an exchange of intellectual ideas about Buddhism and/or Christianity, but for those looking to deepen their spirituality.

The group is open to students, faculty, and staff of the University of St. Thomas and other colleges and universities in the Twin Cities, and also to members of the public. 

Registration: Although there is no fee for participating in the discussion group, you must register for the series by contacting Hans Gustafson at 651-962-5798 or hsgustafson@stthomas.edu.

Susan Stabile is the author of Growing in Love and Wisdom: Tibetan Buddhist Sources for Christian Meditation (Oxford 2013).  Raised as a Catholic, she devoted 20 years of her life to practicing Buddhism and was ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun before returning to Catholicism in 2001.  Susan is a spiritual director and a retreat leader, especially for groups in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, and she authors the blog Creo en Dios! on which she posts daily spiritual reflections and occasional podcasts.  She also holds the Robert and Marion Short Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, where she also serves as a fellow of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership and offers retreats and other programs of spiritual formation for students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Little Mosque on the Prairie

Interfaith discussion series facilitated by Muhammad A. Ahmad, Noreen Nazir, and Rabbi David Wirtschafter
October 15, October 29, and November 12, 2013

St. Pascal Baylon Catholic Church, Social Hall
1757 Conway Street, St. Paul, MN 55106
click here for map
Free and open to the public

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Tuesday, October 15, 7:00 p.m. - 8:15 p.m., "The Archdeacon Cometh” (season 1, episode 8) 
Tuesday, October 29, 7:00 p.m. - 8:15 p.m., "Keeping the Faith" (season 4, episode  16)
Tuesday, November 12, 7:00 p.m. - 8:15 p.m., “The Barrier” (season 1, episode 2)

This series features viewings of three selected episodes of Canada’s popular television sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie followed by facilitated discussions.  This fun, light-hearted, and comedic show raises several practical everyday issues facing North American Muslims and people of other religions.  Can a mosque be in a church?  How diverse is Islam?  What role does Western culture play in the formation of an Islamic community?  These questions and others will be presented and discussed at these gatherings.

FacilitatorsMuhammad A. Ahmad, a Muslim from Pakistan, is studying Christian theology at Luther Seminary, a post-doctoral fellow at the department of computer science at the University of Minnesota, a data scientist at Ninja Metrics, Inc., and the founder and editor of Islam and Science Fiction. Noreen Nazir, a Catholic from Pakistan, holds an MA degree in Islamic Studies from Luther Seminary and has worked with the Christian Study Centre in Rawalpindi and the National Commission for Interfaith Dialogue and Ecumenism in Pakistan.  Rabbi David Wirtschafter regularly serves as rabbi-in-residence with the Jay Phillips Center and is the rabbi of the Ames Jewish Congregation in Iowa.

Sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center in collaboration with St. Pascal Baylon Catholic Church

Amir Hussain’s Oil and Water: Two Faiths, One God

Interfaith student discussion group led by Noreen Nazir and Halise Ozdemir
October 8, November 19, and December 10

Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning
University of St. Thomas
2097 Grand Ave., St. Paul, MN
click here for map

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Noreen Nazir is a Catholic from Pakistan, where she attended public university and law school. She holds an MA degree in Islamic Studies from Luther Seminary, and has worked with the Christian Study Centre in Rawalpindi and with the National Commission for Interfaith Dialogue and Ecumenism in Pakistan. She has held several jobs in both church-based interfaith work and in private businesses. Much of Ms. Nazir's career and studies have been dedicated to interfaith relations in Pakistan and the United States. 


‌‌Halise Ozdemir is a Muslim from Turkey. She completed her BA and MA degrees in philosophy at Middle East Technical University in Ankara and her MA in Islamic studies and Muslim Christian Relations at Luther Seminary. She is involved with several interfaith organizations, including the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center at St. Thomas. She has an interfaith certificate from Yale University and the Forum for Development, Culture, and Dialogue held in Beirut, Lebanon. Ms. Ozdemir co-leads the St. Thomas J-term course on Islam in Turkey. 


Sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center and UST's Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center