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Muslim Scholar to Speak on God and Religious Diversity

Irfan A. Omar, associate professor of theology at Marquette University in Milwaukee, will present “The Oneness of God and the Diversity of Religions: A Muslim Perspective” on Monday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. at the Islamic Center of Minnesota, 1401 Gardena Ave. NE, in Fridley. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning at the University of St. Thomas.

Co-sponsors for this event are the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning at Saint John’s University, the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center at the University of St. Thomas and the Islamic Center of Minnesota in collaboration with the Muslim Student Association at the University of St. Thomas.

“The Qur’an makes it clear that differences in human societies with respect to culture, language, nationality, gender and religion (among others) are divinely instituted and should be seen as a blessing,” Omar said. In this lecture, he will explore this and other Islamic teachings that present the plurality of religions as a necessary foundation for mutual learning, as well as for personal and communal growth.

Omar earned his Ph.D. in religion from Temple University in Philadelphia and his scholarship and teaching focus on Islamic theology and the connections between Islam and other religions. He is an affiliated faculty member with the Center for South Asia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been a visiting Fulbright lecturer at Muhammadiyah University in Malang, Indonesia.

In addition to writing numerous book chapters and journal articles, Omar has edited and co-edited seven books including Peacemaking and the Challenge of Violence in World Religions (2015), The Judeo-Christian-Islamic Heritage: Philosophical and Theological Perspectives (2012) and Heirs of Abraham: The Future of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian Relations (2005).

This lecture is a part of the Jay Phillips Center’s series “The Oneness of God and the Diversity of Religions,” which already has featured lectures by Hindu, Sikh and Christian scholars and will conclude with a lecture by Jewish scholar Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi on Oct. 23 at Temple Israel in Minneapolis.