Joseph Cumming – A Christian Response to the Rise of National Religious States

Here is a new presentation made during the Christ at the Checkpoint 2014 conference in Bethlehem, Palestina, March 10-14 2014.

Joseph Cumming is Pastor of the International Church at Yale University, and from this base at Yale he works with Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders and scholars around the world to promote mutual understanding and reconciliation among the Abrahamic faith communities. He travels regularly to the Middle East, Africa, Asia and elsewhere to meet with religious leaders, to speak at conferences and to teach. He has been interviewed many times on Al-Jazeera (in Arabic), in leading media outlets in North America, and in other media outlets in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.

Born and raised in New York City, Joseph lived for 15 years in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, where he continues to oversee a substantial humanitarian program. During his years in Mauritania – one of the poorest nations on earth – he served as Director of Doulos Community, a Christian humanitarian organization working in nutrition, public health, agriculture, microcredit and emergency relief. Their largest program through the years has provided food and health education to 30,000 malnourished children and mothers. He also served as president of the national Federation of NGOs in Mauritania (Fédération des ONG en Mauritanie).

In recent years Joseph has been involved in high-profile Muslim-Christian and Muslim-Christian-Jewish dialogue in many nations around the world. This has included, for example, lecturing in Arabic at al-Azhar University in Cairo (the chief seat of Sunni Islamic learning worldwide), as well as meeting with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, prominent Sunni Muftis, the leading Lebanese Shi‘i Ayatollah, Sheikh Fadlallah, and with prominent Iranian Ayatollahs. Through his work as Director of the Yale Reconciliation Program, he organized the first major international conference of the Common Word initiative, bringing together top-tier Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders and scholars from around the world. He has spoken several times at the annual Doha Conference on Interfaith Dialogue, more than once as a keynote speaker. He has both organized and spoken at numerous other Abrahamic dialogue events at Yale and in many nations around the world.

Joseph’s bachelor’s degree (in Religion) is from Princeton University, and his M.Div. (concentration: Cross-Cultural Studies) is from Fuller Theological Seminary. He has M.A. and M.Phil. degrees from Yale University and is completing his Ph.D. at Yale in Islamic Studies and Christian Theology. He speaks fluent Arabic, as well as several other languages. He is an ordained Christian minister (Assemblies of God).

Joseph has been married to his wife Michele, a registered nurse, since 1984. They are parents of twins – a son and daughter – who are currently students at Columbia University in New York and Princeton University, respectively.

(Source, HERE)

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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