Series on World Religions

Sunday, April 28 and Thursday, May 2

Sun, Apr. 28, 11:45am: Hearing the Call: a Christian Journey with Islam, led by Father Michael Calabria In 1981, a young university student first heard the Islamic call to prayer. Although his faith journey would lead him to a vocation as a Franciscan friar, Islam continues to inform his life of prayer, devotion and spirituality. In this program, Fr. Michael Calabria, OFM, PhD, director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at St. Bonaventure University, will speak about his journey with Islam as a Catholic-Christian for over thirty years. This forum will offer a buffet-style Syrian lunch prepared by a Syrian refugee whose family has been sponsored by the Congregational Church in South Glastonbury. Free will offering.

Father Michael Calabria is Assistant Professor of Theology and Director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at St. Bonaventure University in New York. His experience in the Middle East and the Islamic world began as an Egyptology student at Johns Hopkins University and Brown University; he performed archaeological work in Egypt.

Thu, May 2, 6:30pm: Hinduism, led by Dr. Leslie Desmangles The history of Hinduism spans over a period of more than 5,000 years and its traditions cover a vast geographical area, including parts of the New World. The literary prowess of Hindus has given rise to a large compendium of complex and sophisticated philosophical writings, and a religious scripture that includes up to 120 books. This presentation is a thematic survey of Hinduism, including a description of its early and modern history and theology. Emphasis is given to the Hindu teachings about the nature of God (Brahman), the concepts of the soul (atman), spiritual ignorance or the state of spiritual imperfection (avidya and maya), reincarnation (samsara) and the paths to salvation (nirvana).

Dr. Leslie Desmangles is a long-time member of AHCC and Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies and International Studies at Trinity College. Professor Desmangles graduated from Eastern University with a B.A. in Music, from Palmer Seminary in Philadelphia with an M. Div. in Theology, and from Temple University with a Ph.D. in Anthropology of Religion, specializing in Caribbean and African Studies. He taught at Ohio Wesleyan University from 1969-1976, at De Paul University from 1976-1978, and at Trinity since 1978.


Rev. Erica Avena

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