COLLEGEVILLE, Minn., Sept. 5, 2006 – The 19th annual Peace Studies Conference is Sept. 18 at the Quadrangle Building, Saint John’s University.

“Islam and Peace” is a conference exploring peace, war, nonviolence and peacebuilding in the Islamic tradition. It features speakers Qamar-ul Huda, senior program officer at the United States Institute for Peace in Washington, D.C.; Imam Yahya Hendi, Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.; Owais Bayunus, Council of Trustees member, Islamic Center of Minnesota; and members of the College of Saint Benedict/SJU faculty.

Huda speaks on “Islam and Peacebuilding: An Overview” from 2:40 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. at Quad 264. Imam Hendi delivers the keynote on “Islam’s Theological and Legal Principles on Peace” at 7 p.m. at Quad 264.

The conference begins with an introduction at 1 p.m. at Quad 264 by Ron Pagnucco, assistant professor of peace studies and department chair at CSB/SJU. At 1:05 p.m., Dallas Kenny, chair of the CSB/SJU Islamic Studies Task Force and dean of international and experiential education at CSB/SJU, welcomes attendees.

Nicholas Hayes, CSB/SJU professor of history and University Chair of Critical Thinking, speaks on “Bosnia Yesterday and Today” from 1:10 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. at Quad 264.

Following Huda’s presentation, participants can select one of four concurrent sessions from 4:20 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.:           

  • ·         “Religion, Society and Politics in Iran,” with Noreen Herzfeld, director of the Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture at CSB and professor of computer science and theology at CSB/SJU, and CSB/SJU assistant professor of theology Jon Armajani (Quad 247);
  • ·         “The ‘Frontier Gandhi:’ Badshah Khan and Non-Violent Jihad,” with CSB/SJU assistant professor of history Brendan LaRocque (Quad 252);
  • ·         “Christian Biblical Readings on Peace and Justice: A Muslim Perspective,” with Imam Hendi (Quad 264);
  • ·         “Interfaith Cooperation in Minnesota,” with Bayunus (Quad 254).

The conference is free, and no pre-registration is required.

“People who attend the conference will learn something about the range of Islamic thought about war, peace, peacebuilding and nonviolence, and will explore case studies concerning these topics,” Pagnucco said.

The event is sponsored by the peace studies department at CSB/SJU; the Global Awareness Lecture series; the department of theology at CSB/SJU; CSB Campus Ministry; SJU Campus Ministry; and the CSB/SJU Islamic Studies Task Force. Lorraine and the late Robert Breitenbucher provided financial support in presenting the conference.

“Religion and peace are major topics of study in peace studies, so Islam and peace was a natural topic for a conference,” Pagnucco said. 

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University are two nationally-leading liberal arts colleges whose unique partnership provides students with a highly engaged and integrated learning experience preparing them for leadership and service in a global society. The student experience is enlivened by Catholic and Benedictine tradition and an extraordinary sense of place and community.