=Race and Religion Panel (September 2023)

Upcoming Activities of the Macdonald Center 

Islamic Art exhibition

October 3 – November 15 – Islamic Art Exhibition – The Islamic art of Chaplain Aida Mansoor will be exhibited in the HIU chapel and meeting room. An opening presentation and reception will take place on October 9 at 7 pm.
This will be free and open to the public.




February, date TBD – Discussion with the Kaduna Center. A conversation with Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, on Christian-Muslim relations in West Africa.

March, date TBD – Scriptural Languages Symposium –‘Translation as interpretation' This symposium invites select scholars and practitioners in the field of scriptural studies of the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and the Qur’an to examine and explore various facets of how the sacred languages are understood, used, and interpreted.

June 2-3: 50th Anniversary of the Macdonald Center

Previous Events


Illustration of different races and cultures

September 19 – Race, Religion, and Contested Identities: A Christian-Muslim Dialogue - A Conversation between Dr. Bilal Ansari, Professor Mona Siddiqui, Professor Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, and Imam Zaid Shakir. Moderated by David D. Grafton.




October 6 – Race, Religion, and Slavery: Religious justifications for enslavement in the trans-Atlantic and trans-Saharan world

A webinar in collaboration with the Lamin Sanneh Institute, Accra Ghana. Speakers will include Dr. John Azumah, Lamin Sanneh Institute, Dr. Benjamin Twagira, Williams College, and Dr. Bilal Ansari, HIU. The webinar will be moderated by Dr. David D. Grafton, HIU. 10 am EST

October 20 - Christians, Muslims, and Jesus - A Conversation about Jesus

Professor Mona Siddiqui and Professor David Grafton explore the relationship between Islam and Christianity, examining the ways in which the two faiths differ, and how they have entered into dialogue with each other. Join us for this thought-provoking program!

Held at First Church, West Hartford – 7 pm EST

Flyer describing event

October 24 - Abraham’s Gifts panel discussion

In partnership with the John P. Webster Library, the Macdonald center will host a panel discussion based on the artwork Abraham’s Gifts by artist Harvey Paris. There will be an opening of the exhibition followed by a panel discussion with the Rev. Jane Willan, Senior Pastor of First Church, West Hartford, the Rabbi Barbara Paris, and Prof. Hossein Kamaly, Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at HIU – 6 – 8:30 pm EST

The exhibition was housed in the HIU chapel and as run from October 24 through November 18, 2022. 



March 16 - The Willem Bijlefeld Lecture -

Dr. Anna Gade, Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor and Associate Dean for Research & Education, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin. Author of Muslim Environmentalisms: Religious and Social Foundations.



Hagar as a Model of Faith: A Jewish and Muslim Perspective – October 28, 2021

Dr. Hossein Kamaly and Dr. Deena Grant presented on the role of Hagar from the Jewish and Muslim perspectives. This was moderated by Dr. David D. Grafton.

Abraham: Out of One, Many art exhibition

In partnership with the interfaith art organization, Caravan, and the Mandell Jewish Community Center, the Macdonald Center hosted the interfaith art exhibition “Abraham: Out of One, Many.” The exhibition ran from October 5 through November 16, 2021 at the JCC..

Peace Ambassadors’ dialogue program with “Hands Along the Nile” – 8 week program

Luce-Hartford Conference on Christian-Muslim Relations – June 7-8, 2021

 “Christian-Muslim Relations during the midst of the pandemics.”

Willem Bijlefeld Lecture – June 2, 2021

Professor Mona Siddiqui (HIU) - “Human Struggle: Christian and Muslim Perspectives.” Prof. Siddiqui returned to HIU in October as the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies.

Shi’I Chair Activities

“Presence of Christian Missionaries in 16th - 17th Century Persia” with Dr. Alberto Tiburcio - April 18, 2022

Memorial for our dear Professor Mahmoud Ayoub – November 12, 2021

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