Welcome to the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center
Our mission is to foster mutual understanding and cooperation among Muslims and Christians through academic and community dialogue grounded in the Qur’anic and Christian traditions. The dialogue flows from the belief that Muslims and Christians worship the same God (cf. Nostra Aetate, The Qur’an, 29:46; 42:15), who is at work in both faiths. Our focus is primarily theological, rather than political, because our two faiths have so much in common theologically.
Our method of dialogue is taken from the Faith and Order Commission. We begin by articulating what both Muslims and Christians hold in common. Then we articulate what are the points of difference, and then, what are the points of fruitful dialogue. This method has produced great fruit over the years in Christian ecumenical dialogue we hope it will be equally fruitful in Muslim-Christian dialogue.
At this stage, we are working on several fronts. First, we are pursuing extensive dialogue with the local Muslim community. Second, we are bringing in local and national speakers and panels. Third, working with Muslim and Christian scholars, we have prepared a website which contains information on what Christians and Muslims believe about a range of topics—God, Revelation, Prophecy, Jesus, Mohammad, Peace and War, etc. Fourth, we have begun dialogue with the theology faculty of Dokuz Eylul University (Izmir, Turkey) and are conducting annual symposia discussing central themes in Muslim Christian dialogue. Our first symposium addressed “Freedom of Religion," was held at Dokuz Eylul in January 2012. Our second symposium addressing the topic of “Islam, Christianity, and the Other” was held at the University of St. Thomas on February 1-2, 2013. Our third symposium will be held at Dokuz Eylul University on January 30-February 1, 2014 on the topic of “Jesus/Issa in Christianity and Islam.” We also expect to exchange faculty and students with Dokuz Eylul. Fifth, we have begun dialogue with theologians from Qom, Iran. Our first meeting was June 6-9, 2012 in Rome; the second meeting was August 17-18, 2013 in Qom, Iran (see a summary of both meetings under “previous events” on this website); we expect to continue meeting annually.
“And dispute ye not with the People of the Book except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong and injury: But say: 'We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which has come down to you; Our God and your God is one; and it is to Him We bow (in Islam).'”
The Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center condemns terrorism in any form.
In Memoriam: Terence Nichols, theologian, humanitarian, and friend
Dr. Terence Nichols, a theology professor at St. Thomas for 27 years and the founder and co-director of the university’s Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center, died Saturday, April 12, 2014, of cancer.
Read more from the UST Newsroom here; from the Minneapolis Star Tribute here; and from the IARP newsletter