Interfaith Youth Core leader Eboo Patel to discuss building interfaith cooperation at Thomas H. Lake Lecture in Indianapolis March 30
In a world where diverse faith communities interact with great frequency and intensity, how can we both preserve the particularities of our distinct faith traditions while promoting positive interfaith cooperation?
Eboo Patel, founder of Interfaith Youth Core, will explain how and why interfaith cooperation and democracy depend on the differences among religions as much as the similarities in the 2017 Thomas H. Lake Lecture, “Building a Diverse Democracy: Exploring the Theologies and Practice of Interfaith Cooperation.” The lecture, which is presented by Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, will take place on Thursday, March 30 in Indianapolis.
Patel has said, “To see the other side, to defend another people, not despite your tradition but because of it, is the heart of pluralism.”
In his remarks, Patel will call on individuals and faith organizations to consider the religious beliefs and theories of interfaith cooperation that exist within their own faith traditions and how cultivating these beliefs and theories can both deepen one’s own faith and improve relationships across faith communities in a way that strengthens civil society.
“Eboo Patel has been at the forefront of championing interfaith engagement for over a decade,” said David King, the Karen Lake Buttrey Director of Lake Institute. “He is adamant that working across faith traditions does not mean we should only work to find a lowest common denominator of mutual agreement. Instead, digging deep into our distinct faith or moral commitments should help us grow in mutual understanding and service to humanity. In our current context where distinct religious and cultural identities are used to exacerbate difference over commonality, Patel’s message is vital for every local community to take to heart.”
Patel founded Interfaith Youth Core on the idea that religion should be a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division. He is inspired to build this bridge by his identity as an American Muslim navigating a highly religiously diverse social landscape. For more than 15 years, he has worked with governments, social sector organizations and college and university campuses to help make interfaith cooperation a social norm.
Named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Patel served on President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council and is the author of Acts of Faith, Sacred Ground and the new Interfaith Leadership: A Primer. He holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship.
The lecture will begin at 4:30 p.m., followed by a reception at 6:00 pm. Both events will be held at the Indiana Historical Society’s Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street in Indianapolis. Both are free and open to the public.
Lake Institute on Faith & Giving
Lake Institute exists to foster a greater understanding of the ways in which faith inspires and informs giving through research, education and training. The institute offers customized programs that translate data and giving trends into practical tools. Lake Institute supports the development of research designed to explore the broad context of religious giving. Through public forums Lake Institute engages practitioners, scholars and the community in thoughtful conversation and reflection. Follow us on Twitter @LakeInstitute.
The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change in the world. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Follow us on Twitter @IUPhilanthropy.