Bryn Mawr President Travels to Jordan As Part of Interfaith Forum

Bryn Mawr President Jane McAuliffe joined Muslim and Catholic scholars, intellectuals, and clerics from 18 Islamic and non-Islamic countries in a three-day interfaith forum focused on the theme “Reason, Faith and the Human Person.”

Held from Nov. 21-23, the forum took place at the “Baptism Site,” a place on the shores of the Dead Sea not far from Amman, Jordan. Participants were also invited to the royal compound for a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. A joint declaration from the forum has been published on the website of A Common Word, an important interfaith initiative that is based in Jordan.

This is the second such forum to be held by the organizers; McAuliffe also took part in the initial forum, which was hosted by the Vatican in Rome in 2008.

“I was pleased to participate in this second major dialogue meeting,” said McAuliffe, “and hope that faith communities can continue to promote efforts that advance mutual understanding.”

McAuliffe was one of six academics to be a part of the 24-member Catholic delegation, which consisted mainly of Church leaders, including several bishops and cardinals. The Muslim delegation was led by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan and also included a mix of religious leaders and scholars.

As a scholar, McAuliffe is an internationally renowned specialist in Islamic studies whose expertise is in the Qur’an and its interpretations, early Islamic history, and the interrelationships between Islam and Christianity.

McAuliffe’s is the author of Qurʼānic Christians: An Analysis of Classical and Modern Exegesis, among many other publications, and the editor of both the six-volume Encyclopaedia Of The Qur’an and The Cambridge Companion to the Qur’an.

She has served on the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims as well as on the board of the American Academy of Religion, of which she was president in 2004.