Eighth Century. Córdoba, Spain: At the time, the country was under Islamic rule, and cities like Córdoba absorbed the language, beliefs and religion of the Islamic people. Córdoba, now a World Heritage Site, was unique in the sense that there was unification between the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam — a notion of “shared worship” that, as evidenced in contemporary media, has increasingly diminished.
Instruments are not allowed to be a part of Jum’ah, but they are not needed. Kaiser Aslam’s voice was uplifted and transformed into its own musical organ as the azaan resonated through the Hall of Christ.
Growth, exposure, inclusion and bubble bursting. These are just some of the things this year’s four Abrahamic Program for Young Adults coordinators are hoping to get out of their summer at Chautauqua Institution.
There seems to be a smartphone app for everything these days — social media, weather forecasts and even an app that shows the exact direction of Mecca. And that’s just one of the many apps that are made specifically for Muslims.
If there is anything that regularly challenges belief in God, it’s the existence of the ungodly. Evil and suffering have been frequent visitors to Chautauqua Institution, both as topics of discussion — for example, during the Interfaith Lecture Series’ week on emancipation — and as experiential realities. While some may think otherwise, Chautauqua isn’t paradise; evil and suffering happen here every day.
Jawad Bayat’s mouth is parched. He’s standing at the front of the Hall of Christ, shoes off, facing Mecca.
It’s Ramadan, and he can’t eat or drink until dark. [w/ VIDEO]
The coordinators of the Abrahamic Program for Young Adults shared with the Daily their personal reactions to Week Two’s theme of “The Next Greatest Generation.” Comprising of four coordinators representing Judaism, Christianity and Islam, APYA develops programs geared specifically toward generating interfaith dialogue among young adults at Chautauqua Institution.
In her application for the Abrahamic Program for Young Adults, Farrah Walji referenced the Quran: “[We] have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another.” To truly know one another, Walji argued in her essay, there needs to be interfaith dialogue.
Like so many vacationers, John Jureller and Mary Giegengack Jureller expected their trip in the summer of 1992 to result in relaxation, with entertainment and quaint sights and, maybe, if they were lucky enough to stumble upon a decent place, church on Sunday morning. But the Jurellers were going to Chautauqua.
“You can’t often find a vacation place where you can expect to have your spiritual life nourished and expanded. Mostly you go searching about for a church that’s tolerable,” Mary said. “We found the Sunday morning ecumenical service here just wonderfully enriching.”
Since finding Chautauqua much better than “tolerable” — both spiritually and in other regards — the Jurellers of Syracuse, N.Y., have returned for another 20 seasons.
Editor’s Note: With the Abrahamic Program for Young Adults concluding its 2012 Season activities this weekend, the Daily asked the four coordinators to write a reflection on their experiences at Chautauqua.