We are in the process of compiling a list of IFTAG members and their interests, plus useful links:
Dr Elizabeth Harris is Associate Professor in Religious Studies at Liverpool Hope University, specialising in Buddhist Studies, Buddhist-Christian Studies and Inter Faith Studies. Immediately prior to this, Dr Harris served the Methodist Church in Britain for eleven years as their Executive Secretary for Inter Faith Relations and, before this, was a Research Fellow at Westminster College, Oxford.
Her doctorate in Buddhist Studies was completed in 1993 in Sri Lanka, where she worked as Research Assistant to Dr Aloysius Pieris sj. Dr. Harris is currently President of the European Network of Buddhist-Christian Studies and is involved locally in inter faith relations as a co-opted member of the Merseyside Council of Faiths.
Dr Harris’ publications include: What Buddhists Believe (Oneworld, 1998); Theravāda Buddhism and the British Encounter: religious, missionary and colonial experience in nineteenth century Sri Lanka (Routledge, 2006); Buddhism for a Violent World: A Christian Reflection (Epworth, 2010).
Since 2012 Revd Dr Graham Adams has been Tutor in World Christianity (including Mission Studies) and World Faith traditions with Northern College (United Reformed and Congregational), a constituent college of the ecumenical partnership, Luther King House in Manchester. There the programmes are the BA and MA in Contextual Theology, and research programmes. He also teaches on the Congregational Federation’s Foundation Degree in Practical Theology.
Graham previously was in church ministry in Manchester, since 2002, while first studying part-time for a PhD which he completed in 2008, then revised for publication, and subsequently working in training development for the Congregational Federation. His book, Christ and the Other: In dialogue with Hick and Newbigin (Ashgate, 2010), compares the Christologies of John Hick and Lesslie Newbigin, in light of their contrasting approaches to other religions. It is, however, more a constructive theological proposal in the face of questions of identity, difference and solidarity; in part using the theological resources of Andrew Shanks, it argues that, as Christ ‘the Shaken One’ shows, we become more fully human through relationship with ‘others’ – those within our own tradition, those in other traditions, and those who are socio-politically oppressed.
His current research interests include: – reviewing theologies of religions; understandings of mission in the context of Empire; and the theology of Andrew Shanks and its implications for mission.
The Revd Peter Colwell is Deputy General Secretary of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, with particular responsibility for inter faith and faith and order matters. He is an ordained minister of the United Reformed Church (since 1994), having served as local church minister in London. Prior to his appointment at CTBI he was Deputy Director of the London Inter Faith Centre, which promote dialogue and study between different religions. He is currently undertaking research into aspects of a Christian theology of the land in the context of Israel-Palestine and how it relates to Jewish and Islamic thinking. His own interests are in Jewish-Christian, Christian-Muslim relations, the history of Christianity in the Middle East, Israel-Palestine and theology of the land.
Since 2012, Rose Drew has managed a new project called Interfaith Glasgow, which supports interfaith engagement in Glasgow through innovative initiatives fostering friendship-building, dialogue, and cooperation between people from diverse religious and non-religious backgrounds (see www.interfaithglasgow.org).
Prior to taking up her current post, Rose was a Lecturer in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Glasgow, UK and, in 2011, a Research Scholar at Uppsala University, Sweden. Her research interests are predominantly in Buddhist-Christian dialogue and the theology of religions.
Her monograph, Buddhist and Christian? An Exploration of Dual Belonging (Routledge, 2011) won the 2013 Frederick J. Streng Award for Excellence in Buddhist-Christian Studies. It is the first in-depth study of the thought and practice of those who take themselves to be both Buddhist and Christian. Drawing on interviews with individuals in the vanguard of this growing phenomenon, the book engages from Buddhist and Christian perspectives the theological, philosophical, and practical questions that arise. See: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415611237/
Rev Dr Barbara Glasson is a Methodist Minister and Team Leader at Touchstone in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Working with a small team of staff and volunteers, Touchstone offers creative interfaith engagement in this largely Muslim city as well as enabling safe space for difficult conversations in other areas of the UK and Pakistan. Touchstone launched the Weaving Women’s Wisdom project in Bradford in 2014.
Barbara is a Practical Theologian and has written a number of books including I am Somewhere Else, DLT, 2006 (the story of the Bread Church in Liverpool, that Barbara founded), A Spirituality of Survival Continuum, 2009 (a reflection on what the church can learn from people who ‘survive’), The Exuberant Church, DLT, 2011 (a call to listen to prophetic Christian communities), and most recently an introduction to interfaith engagement entitled Eating Curry for Heaven’s Sake to be published by Kevin Mayhew in June 2015.
The Revd Nadim Nassar is the Director and co-founder of the Awareness Foundation, and co-author of the Awareness Course. He established the Awareness Foundation in 2003 with Bishop Michael Marshall in response to the growing need to study the Christian faith in the context of the 21st century.
He is a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland’s Inter Faith Theological Advisory Group, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on International Religious Freedom, and he advises the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Nadim Nassar lectures, speaks and teaches in the Middle East, Europe and the US; he leads diocesan conferences in the US, UK and Hong Kong. He gives frequent public lectures for many organisations, including the Ismaili Centre, the Christian Muslim Forum and Near Neighbours, and has contributed articles to Britain’s Guardian and Daily Telegraph daily newspapers, as well as The Tablet. He has been interviewed many times, including by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Nadim preaches at churches across London.
Nadim was born and raised in Lattakia, Syria and he is the only Syrian priest in the Church of England. He lectured in different universities in London, including the American Intercontinental University where he taught world religions, and London Guildhall University where he developed the ‘Faith and Citizenship’ seminar. Revd Nassar studied at the Near East School of Theology between 1981 and 1988 during the Lebanese Civil War, which had a profound effect on him and his faith. He became the editor of the Arabic Hymnal for a year in Limassol, Cyprus then went to Lattakia, Syria to be the minister of the National Evangelical Church in Lattakia which is a member of the National Evangelical Synod in Syria and Lebanon. He stayed in Lattakia for two years before he left to Germany to continue his theological education.
Stephen Roberts is Senior Lecturer in Modern Theology at the University of Chichester where he teaches modules on Christian theology, inter-religious dialogue, the relationships between religion and violence and between theology and popular culture.
His PhD explored the relationship between inter-religious dialogue and the public sphere, and his current research continues to focus on the relationships between religion, theology and the public sphere.
An ordained Anglican, he has served in parishes in the Diocese of London, worked as a university chaplain and, prior to his current role, was Vice Principal of St Michael’s College Llandaff, the Church in Wales theological college in Cardiff.
His experience of and interest in inter-faith relations stems primarily from his time as a university chaplain, although he has been involved in Jewish-Christian dialogue for more than twenty years, most recently as a member of CCJ’s theological dialogue project.
Stephen’s University of Chichester web-page is: http://www.chi.ac.uk/staff/stephen-roberts
Christian-Muslim Relations 600 – 1500 (paid access)
Christian-Muslim Relations 1500 – 1900 (paid access)