More Navigation

Back to Press Releases

Founder of Muslim Peace Fellowship to speak at Lake Junaluska Peace Conference

09/10/2015

 The biggest obstacle to peace in the world is the belief that it is impossible, says Rabia Terri Harris, founder of the Muslim Peace Fellowship at Stony Point, New York, and one of the scheduled speakers for the 2015 Peace Conference, set for Nov. 12-15 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center at Lake Junaluska.

“The second biggest obstacle is the fear of differences and of healthy conflict. The third biggest obstacle is the human ego,” she adds. Harris is an essayist, editor and peace activist. She is a columnist and contributing editor at Fellowship, the magazine of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

In 1994, Harris founded the Muslim Peace Fellowship, the first organization specifically devoted to the theory and practice of authentically Islamic active nonviolence. She serves as director of the Muslim Peace Fellowship and Resident Elder at Dar Anwaras-Salam, the Muslim component of the Community of Living.

It's an honor to be invited to the Lake Junaluska Peace Conference. People who are willing to believe that a world of enormous pointless suffering is neither necessary nor inevitable need to come together as often as possible to strengthen and inspire each other. Shared concentration and commitment are a form of prayer that moves our work toward bearing fruit and our vision from the realm of hope toward the realm of reality.

The human animal, like other animals, has always been intolerant of competitors for survival resources, breeding access, and status. Up our awareness a notch, and we also become intolerant of people who challenge our conviction that we are right. These attitudes are both hardy perennial weeds, and they are not dying out any time soon. Only the intervention of real consciousness has a chance of thinning them out sufficiently to allow other kinds of flowers to grow in the garden of the world.

This year’s conference, “Longing for Peace/Exploring the Heart of God,” will feature three keynote speakers and focus on the spiritual roots and foundations that support the search for peace in the three Abrahamic faith traditions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Special music will be provided by The Yuval Ron Ensemble.

The keynote speakers are:

  • Rabia Terri Harris, founder of the Muslim Peace Fellowship, Stony Point, New York. Harris is an essayist, editor and peace activist. She is a columnist and contributing editor at Fellowship, the magazine of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. In 1994, Harris founded the Muslim Peace Fellowship, the first organization specifically devoted to the theory and practice of authentically Islamic active nonviolence. She serves as director of the Muslim Peace Fellowship and Resident Elder at Dar Anwaras-Salam, the Muslim component of the Community of Living Traditions, a tripartite Abrahamic residential peace community in Stony Point, New York. She is also among the organizers of a new venture in Islamic pastoral care, the Muslim Chaplains Association.
  • Rabbi Or Rose, founding director of the Center for Global Judaism at Hebrew College, Newton Centre, Mass. Rose is a leading writer and social activist. Rose is also co-director of the Center for Interreligious and Community Leadership Education, a joint venture of Hebrew College and Andover Newton Theological School. Rose is the former associate dean and director of informal education at the Rabbinical School, where he still teaches. He is co-editor of "Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections" and "My Neighbor's Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth and Transformation.
  • Rev. Dr. Sam Wells, vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London. Wells served as dean of Duke University Chapel and research professor of Christian ethics at Duke Divinity School from 2005 to 2012. He has served as a parish priest for 15 years – 10 of those in urban priority areas. Wells is also visiting professor of Christian Ethics at King’s College, London, and a non-residential theological canon at Chichester Cathedral. He has published 20 books, including works on Christian social ethics and collections of sermons.
  • Yuval Ron, internationally renowned World Music artist, composer, educator, peace activist and record producer. Ron graduated Cum Laude as a film scoring major at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He enjoys researching various ethnic musical traditions and spiritual paths worldwide. He has composed the songs and score for the Oscar winning film West Bank Story in 2007, was the featured artist in the Gala Concert for the Dalai Lama's initiative Seeds of Compassion in the Seattle Opera Hall in 2008, and has collaborated with the Sufi leader Pir Zia Inayat Khan since 2006. The internationally renowned music and dance group, The Yuval Ron Ensemble, has been actively involved in creating musical bridges between people of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths.

The conference will also include additional sessions, workshops and a panel discussion with the three speakers that will be moderated by Rabbi Phil Bentley of Hendersonville. Space is limited and early registration is recommended. Registration is $120 before Sept. 1 and $145 after Sept. 1. Students may attend for $60. Register at www.lakejunaluska.com/peace or by calling 828.454.6682.

The Peace Conference will also offer live streaming of the three keynote speakers, establish several international sites for small groups to gather and watch portions of the Peace Conference, and issue an invitation to various faith groups, peace fellowships and individuals to join Peace Conference participants leading up to and during the Peace Conference in prayers for world peace and in a renewed emphasis on prayer, meditation and contemplation.

The Lake Junaluska Peace Conference is an ongoing response to God’s call to peacemaking and reconciliation. Affirming the community of Abrahamic faiths, the Peace Conference seeks to work in partnership with Christians, Jews, Muslims, and members of other religious traditions to advance the work of reconciliation and peace. www.lakejunaluska.com/peace

Contacts

Reservations
Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center
reservations@lakejunaluska.com
800-222-4930