The Understanding Islam and Christianity workshop brought together members of the local community to gain an appreciation of the two religious’ traditions in the spirit of unity and harmonious co-existence. The study day was led by Dr Chris Hewer who comes from a background in Christian theology, education, Islamic studies and inter-faith studies and has worked in the field of Muslims in Britain and Christian-Muslim relations since 1986. Dr Hewer spent 15 years teaching Christian and Muslim Students at the Centre for Christian and Islam Relations at College of Ascension, at the campus which is now the current location of AMI.
The day was split into two parts with the first session focusing on understanding Islam, and the final session on understanding Christianity. Whilst explaining the origins of Islam, Dr Hewer clarified that Islam is not a religion that began with the Prophet Muhammad, rather it is a natural way of life that has been transmitted by all the prophets through several revealed scriptures. During his presentation on Christianity, Dr Hewer emphasised the need for a paradigm shift in the mindset of Muslim participants as the Islamic portrayal of Christianity does not correspond with the Christians appreciation of his/her own religion. Therefore, it is important to try and appreciate Christianity from the perspective of its own adherents, regardless of whether it is accepted as the truth or not. The interactive session and lively discussions ensured that participants left with a better comprehension of how both religious traditions began and their core beliefs as well as an insight into the main divisions within the tradition.
Feedback from attendees:
“It was a very interesting and informative event to establish understanding and respect of a different faith. Fantastic hospitality, refreshments and lunch. Very well planned and organised. Massive thanks!”
“I especially appreciated the objective method of presenting each religion. It was most understandable and informative.”
“I was very, very impressed by Dr Hewer’s breadth of knowledge and accessible delivery. A very rewarding, informative, and enjoyable experience.”
Videos can be viewed below: