Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner
Atlantic Institute in South Florida holds its Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner in Hollywood, FL
On February 5, 2015, South Florida branch of the Atlantic Institute held its Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner in Hollywood, FL. The event happened in SOHO Venue in Hollywood, and was attended by over 110 guests, including attendees from religious institutions, universities, and the government.
During the dinner, Mustafa Yucekaya from Atlantic Instutute opened the night by welcoming the honoroble guests. He provided information about Atlantic Institute and its events. In particular, he talked about inter-faith and inter-cultural programs, academic and educational programs, trips to Turkey, Annual Friendship and Dialogue Dinner, Annual Table of Abraham Dinner, and luncheon series that happens several times every year.
Subsequently, Honorable Representative Hazelle P. Rogers took stage and talked about the importance of coexistence. Mr. Marcos Regalado followed Representative Rogers to share his experience and appreciation about one of his trips to Turkey, hosted by the Atlantic Institute. He emphasized that as a result of these trips, strong bridges are established between cultures, and stereotypes are diminished.
Finally, Dr. Scott Alexander took stage as the keynote speaker of the day. He delivered a talk titled "Waging the Greater Jihad: Toward an Islamo-Christian Theology of Cross-Cultural Living". The talk emphasized the improtance of "hosgoru", which in Turkish means to see the good in the others. It underlined that the real jihad (struggle) is to reach out and get to know the other people around us, and live in peace and coexistence with them.
Finally, Mr. Yucekaya took the stage to deliver his concluding remarks.
Waging the Greater Jihad: Cross-Cultural Living in a Globalizing World
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Scott C. Alexander, Director of the Catholic-Muslim Studies Program, Catholic Theological Union
After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard, Dr. Alexander went on to Columbia University in New York where he earned the M.A. and Ph.D. in the history of religions, with a concentration in Islamic studies. From 1986 to 1990, Dr. Alexander taught courses on Islam and the history of religions at Columbia, Fordham, and Princeton University, and in 1991 he took a position on the religious studies faculty of Indiana University in Bloomington where he taught as an assistant professor of Islamic studies from 1993 to 2000. Dr. Alexander is the author of a number of articles on Islamic history and religion and Christian-Muslim Relations published in scholarly journals, edited collections, and encyclopedias such as the Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East (Macmillan, 1996) and the Encyclopedia of the Qur’an (E.J. Brill, 2001-2005). He has also authored many online blog posts and op-ed essays addressing issues of Islamophobia, and has been featured in a number of videos such as the Knowing and Loving Our Neighbors of Other Faiths series (Work of the People, 2010). His most recent scholarly research focuses on the role of triumphalism in Christian-Muslim Relations and deals with the inherent contradiction between religious claims to universal truth and the religiously motivated desire to impose this truth on others as a means of political and cultural domination.
In addition to sitting on the editorial board of The Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, Dr. Alexander is a regular consultant on Catholic-Muslim relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He also is a member of the advisory boards for the Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion at the University of Chicago, the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at the Indiana University School of Philanthropy, and the Alliance for Shared Values (New York City), the Niagara Foundation (Chicago) and the Antalya Intercultural Dialogue Center (Antalya, Turkey).
Scott lives in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago where he is a member of the parish family of the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle. He is the proud father of Myles “Chitriman” Alexander, a rising professional triathlete, and is married to Karen Lewis Alexander, currently vice president for development at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association.