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2016 Dillard Forum

The 2016 Dillard Forum was a great success. For details about this previous Dillard Forum event, please see below. 

Religion and Conflict Across the Globe: Is There a Remedy?

Dillard Forum LogoSunday & Monday, October 30-31, 2016

Featuring: Dr. Peter W. Ochs
Edgar M. Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies, University of Virginia

This is a very important and timely subject. All three great Abrahamic faiths value and teach hospitality toward the stranger. You are invited to be part of this series of lectures and conversation in the hopes that “strangers” may become neighbors and friends.

This program is designed for anyone who desires peace in our broken world. Religious-related conflict is pervasive around the world and even within our own communities. This year’s Dillard Forum featuring Dr. Peter Ochs seeks to bring awareness and understanding of such conflicts.

Monday’s talk-back lunch session seeks to provide a place for conversation among participants about ways to engage in peacebuilding right here in our churches and neighborhoods.

Dr. Peter W. Ochs

poDr. Peter W. Ochs is a prolific author who currently teaches modern Judaic studies at the University of Virginia. He directs Religious Studies graduate programs in “Scripture, Interpretation, and Practice,” an interdisciplinary approach to the Abrahamic traditions. He coined the term “scriptural reasoning” and is co-founder of the Society for Scriptural Reasoning and of the Children of Abraham Institute which promote scriptural study groups and interfaith dialogue among Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

Dr. Ochs notes that “recent headlines seem to give secularists more courage to say ‘We told you so!’ Is religion itself really dangerous to humankind? Or has it taken western diplomats too long to realize that religious groups do not necessarily act like other social groups: that there are religious resources for peace as well as conflict, that it takes special knowledge to understand religions, and that new coalitions of government, religious, and civil society leaders are needed to engage religious groups in times of peace as well as conflict.”

Ponder the possibilities as Dr. Ochs introduces the work of the “Global Covenant of Religions, Inc.,” an entity dedicated to reducing religion-related violence.

Event Topics

Religions as Sources of Conflict and Sources of Peace
This session serves as a broad introduction to the issues. An argument about why governmental, religious, and civil society experts and leaders have failed to repair any significant case of religion-related conflict anywhere in the world. And an argument about how we can do much, much better.

‘Hearth to Hearth’ Peacebuilding
An introduction to new methods for diagnosing and repairing tendencies to religion-related conflict. Among the topics: diagnosing tendencies to peace as well as to violence, engagement across deep differences, local religious values as instruments for mediation and negotiation.

A Workshop in Inter-religious ‘Hearth to Hearth’ Peacebuilding
A lecture, lunch, and informal discussion on peacebuilding.

Your Part in the Process of Peacebuilding,  My Turn to Ask You!
An overview of peacebuilding and review of topics presented followed by a discussion of what comes next for participants at Trinity and in the community.
Childcare will be provided. Please call 804-288-6056 if you will need this service.

What is the Dillard Forum

The Dillard Forum is a ministry of Trinity United Methodist Church designed to examine how faith communities speak to the 21st century. An annual event featuring a theologian or biblical scholar, the Forum was established in 2003 to honor F. Douglas Dillard, Jr. who, with his wife Marion, served Trinity for eight years (1981-1989) as senior minister and later three and a half years as minister of congregational care. An eloquent teacher and scholar, Dr. Dillard died in 2005.

Previous Forum speakers have included the Drs. M. Douglas Meeks, Amy Jill Levine, Leander E. Keck, Stanley Hauerwas, James “Mickey” Efird, Roberta C. Bondi, Brian K. Blount, Denise Dombkowski Hopkins, L Gregory Jones, William H. Willimon, Kristin Swenson, Charles Marsh, R. Kendall Soulen, and Peter W. Ochs.

The Dillard Forum Endowment Fund provides the funding for this ministry. Gifts may be made payable to the Trinity Foundation/Dillard Forum.