2018 Luce-Hartford Conference in Christian-Muslim Relations

God’s Creation and Human Responsibility

We thank everyone who attended the second Luce-Hartford Conference. Videos and coverage of the conference can be found at this link.

June 18-20, 2018

Climate change and environmental concerns are major issues facing communities across the globe. The effects of climate change have already had major economic, political, and cultural impacts. In fact, the discussions around the 2016 Paris Agreement and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol have sparked international debate about climate change and the role of human accountability. Concerns about the environment have also prompted cultural shifts in actions and expectations about environmental responsibility.

Theological understandings of creation and the environment and concepts of environmentally conscious spirituality are not new among Christians and Muslims. Yet, the dramatic rise in environmental concerns has prompted creative thinking among religious communities and organizations. The 2018 Luce-Hartford conference on Christian-Muslim Relations will address the topic of “God’s Creation and Human Responsibility.” The conference will explore theological reflection and scriptural references to climate change. The conference will be a forum for the sharing and exploration of “green projects” and environmentally responsible ventures among Christian and Muslim communities. In addition to one Muslim and one Christian keynote speaker, and religious leaders from various organizations, attendees of the conference will be invited to network opportunities for work in environmentally responsible activities from a faith-based perspective.

The 2018 Luce-Hartford conference is intended to provide an opportunity for academic theologians to reflect and articulate Muslim and Christian perspectives on creation and the environment, and to provide opportunities for professional and non-professional Christian and Muslim religious leaders to engage with each other as communities of moral deliberation for the common good.

The conference will address:

  • The role of Muslim and Christian theological views on human responsibility to the environment.
  • The impact of climate change on local religious communities.
  • The role of and advocacy by faith-based organizations and individuals for environmental responsibility.
  • Network opportunities for faith-based programs and organizations.

Questions may be directed to Professor David D. Grafton at dgrafton@hartsem.edu

Those graduate students who would like to further explore these issues for credit can also enroll in the course God’s Creation and Human Responsibility: Christian-Muslim Dialogue for Public Engagement, June 18-22, 2018. There are a limited number of scholarships available for this course.

For more information, contact Professor David D. Grafton at dgrafton@hartsem.edu.

Conference Schedule

Monday, June 18 - The Meeting Room (77 Sherman St.)

4:00 p.m. Conference Registration "Connection Questions"
5:00 p.m. Welcome and meal
5:25 p.m. Introduction
5:30 p.m.   “Connecting Faith, Environmental Justice and Sustainability” Huda Alkaff - Founder & Director, Wisconsin Green Muslims
6:15 p.m. Break / Asr Prayers*
6:30 p.m.   “Beyond ‘Creation Care’ – Building the Eco-Ethical Ark for the Age of Climate Disruption” The Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade - Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky
 7:15 p.m. Break
7:30 p.m. Respondent:The Rev. Dr. Ben Watts - Faculty Associate in Religion and Community Life, Director of the Black Ministries Program
8:00 p.m. Table discussion / Q&A
8:30 p.m. Wrap up Maghrib Prayers*

  Tuesday, June 19 - The Meeting Room (77 Sherman St.)

3:00 p.m. Film Screening: Renewal (2007)
5:00 p.m. Welcome and meal
5:25 p.m. Introduction
5:30 p.m.   Panel: Best Practices of Faith-Based and Community Organizations -The Rev. Tom Carr, Interreligious Eco Justice Network -Vince Maraventano, Executive Director MA Interfaith Power & Light, Inc. -Karim Ahmed, Board Member of the National Council for Science and the Environment -Mark R. Lewis, Brownfields Coordinator for the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
6:30 p.m. Q&A
7:15 p.m Break/ Asr Prayers*
 7:30 p.m. “The Encyclical Laudato Si’” Professor Ebrahim Moosa - Professor of Islamic Studies; Co-director, Contending Modernities, Keough School of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame Q&A
8:30 p.m. Wrap-up Maghrib Prayers*

  Wednesday, June 20 - Women's Leadership Institute Building (76 Sherman St.)

10:00 a.m. 10:30 a.m. Brunch Environmental Law and Advocacy - Joseph A. MacDougald, Professor-in-Residence and Executive Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Law, UConn Law School
12:00 p.m. Conclusion of conference Group Discussions and Networking (on own)

*All prayers can be performed in the Hartford Seminary chapel, which is open and available throughout the conference.


Fees: $50 ($60 at the door) Conference activities Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, including two dinners and continental breakfast. Coffee will be available throughout the conference. $25 Conference activities and dinner for Monday only/$30 at the door $25 Conference activities and dinner for Tuesday only/$30 at the door Students will be admitted free but must register before the conference. Non Hartford Seminary students must show their student ID upon arrival at the conference. To register and pay with a credit card, click on the REGISTER button. To pay by check or cash, please contact Susan Schoenberger at 860-509-9519 or sschoenberger@hartsem.edu. Fee for the full conference at the door will be $60.

Register button  

Nearby hotels Red Lion Hotel  (formally the Radisson), 50 Morgan St., Hartford, 860-549-2400. Use rate code HRTSEM when making reservation (or state that you are with Hartford Seminary). West Hartford Inn, 900 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, 860-236-3221. Ask for Hartford Seminary rate. Public bus stop is across the street.

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