In the Spring of 2005, a small group of St. Scholastica faculty met to contemplate the formation of an entity which would address interfaith and intercultural concerns, both local and global. Such contemplation was made possible by a set of generous donations to an Interfaith Studies fund within the College's Imagine Tomorrow campaign.
A year and a number of conversations later, with the appointment of a director and the formation of a diverse advisory board, the Oreck-Alpern Interreligious Forum was launched. Renowned author Karen Armstrong spoke on the topic of religious fundamentalism to an audience of 800 at the Mitchell Auditorium in April 2006, with a community panel discussion at Temple Israel on the same subject following in May.
Both inaugural events were planned in partnership with interfaith organizations from the region who have laid the foundation for and continue to engage in this important work, the Arrowhead Interfaith Council and the Silver Memorial Lecture. The Forum envisions a collaborative endeavor with other organizations in the community, and a place people turn to for information and discussion of interreligious issues, particularly in times of conflict.
Funding for the Oreck-Alpern Interreligious Forum is provided in large part by an anonymous donor and with special support from the Ben & Jeanne Overman Charitable Trust, as well as other gifts to The College of St. Scholastica.
Dr. Elyse Carter Vosen
Assistant Professor, Department of Languages & International Studies
The College of St. Scholastica
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55804
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