The Faith and Values in the Public Square lecture on April 30, 2012 featured Rabbi Jill Jacobs (Rabbis for Human Rights- North America), Professor Cynthia Moe-Lobeda (Seattle University’s Department of Theology and Religious Studies) and Tarek Dawoud (Council on American Islamic Relations) who looked at the intersection of Faith and Active Citizenship. The three panelists conversed on the following questions:
- What is the role of faith in today’s sense of the public square?
- What are the three main challenges of being a person of faith in this country?
- How should faith inspire and frame action in this country?
- What are two suggestions that you have for your faith community in engaging with the public square?
Before and after the lecture on April 30, 2012, participants had the opportunity to engage with local faith-based advocacy and action organizations in a public square of displays and conversations. Approximately 75 people attended the interreligious conversation on Faith and Active Citizenship representing at least six different faith traditions.
The panel discussion was followed by a lively Q&A facilitated by Professor Christie Eppler. Questions from the audience included the following, all of which sparked further conversation after the event.
“What is your advice to the young generation that is bombarded by awareness of social issues, so they steer away from taking a religious stance?”
“If you were to look at the role of religious discussion in the public space over the last 50years, do you see trends that have developed over those years, and can you comment on how you for see the trends developing over the next 50 years?
“Given the limited emotional, financial, and temporal resources in an average local religious community, how do you suggest public debate be included in all the other demands on these resource?