Christian Muslim Dialogue of Lexington, KY

April 2019 - Dr. Ann Wainscott, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Miami (Ohio) University spoke about her book "Bureaucritizing Islam: Morocco and the War on Terror." Morocco has a unique approach to combating terrorism by reforming religious institutions to reward loyalty and discourage dissent by religious elites.

March 2019 - Dr. Oliver Leaman, professor of philosophy at UK, spoke about Andalusia - Christian, Jews and Muslims in the medieval Iberian peninsula. The long period when three different religious communities lived in what is today Spain and Portugal has been described very differently by historians.

Feb 2019 - Tony Goodwin, Kentucky Field Organizer for Amnesty International USA, introduced the audience to Amnesty International USA, human rights, and grassroots advocacy. One of the current human rights crises AI is highlighting is concerning the surveillance and mass detention of the Uighur Muslims in China.

Jan 2019 - The Rev. Dean Bucalos, Executive Director of Mission Behind Bars and Beyond (MB3,) spoke about Prison Ministry, and how faith communities can prepare and welcome those who have been imprisoned make a successful reentry into society.

November 2018 - Professor Emeritus Seethalakshmi (Seetha) Rao Subramanian gave us an introduction to Hinduism.

October 2018 - Rabbi David Wirtschafter presented on the Crisis in Burma. The UN considers actions taken by the Myanmar security forces to be genocide and ethnic cleansing. Rabbi Wirtschafter spoke on parallels to Jewish history and what actions concerned people can take.

September 2018 - Dr. Aiuyub Palmer, Professor of Islam and Arabic Studies at the University of Kentucky, and Dr. Matthew Pierce, Assistant Professor of Religion at Centre College, presented on Jesus in the Koran.

August 2018 - Dr. Richard Cahill, just back from a summer living in Jerusalem, where he has visited many times, presented on a history of Jerusalem over the past 101 years.

April 2018 - Dr. Beth Goldstein, professor and chair of Department of Education Policy Studies and Evaluation at the University of Kentucky, presented on Women in Leadership in Judaism, at Ohavay Zion Synagogue.

March 2018 - Daniela Herzog presented "Trading Self for Other - a (Zen-)Buddhist approach towards connection and reconciliation", an inquiry about how the Buddhist notion of “no-self”, “emptiness" and "dependent origination” can help create connection, compassion and meaningful action in a seemingly divided, alienating and polarized world.

February 2018 - Dr. Tara Strauch, Professor of History at Centre College, spoke about how religious minorities were treated during the Revolutionary War. 

January 2018 - Janet Quigg, Dave Little, and Anne Wood spoke about native American spirituality. All 3 are involved with organizations that advocate for native Americans - Janet organizes the annual Pow Wowprogram in Richmond, KY, Dave is a speaker and lives in southern Ohio, and Anne serves as a representative of the Native American Community to the Kentucky Council of Churches

October 2017 - Jeremy Rogers, from the Louisville office of Dinsmore and Shohl, is a 1st amendment attorney. with experience representing media, churches, and religious groups. He shared stories, insights, and lessons learned from his First Amendment practice.

September 2017 - Dr. Deborah Alexander spoke of her decade in Afghanistan while serving as a U.S. Diplomat in the years just after 9/11. 

August 2017 - Siddique Malik, president of Americans United Louisville Chapter and columnist for the Louisville Courier Journal, and Doug Culp, Secretary for Pastoral Life & Bishop's Delegate for Administration, spoke about the historic and ongoing tensions in the "Separation of Church and State." 

April 2017 - The Right Reverend John Stowe, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Lexington, spoke about "Welcoming the Stranger." . Exodus 22:21 - "Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt."

March 2017. Panelists for a "Trialogue of Faith."  Moshe Smolkin, Rabbi of Ohavay Zion Synangogue, Dr. Aiyub Palmer Professor of Islamic Studies at UK, and Bruce Caldwell, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington answered questions posed by the moderator. Our special location for this event was Ohavay Zion Synagogue.

February 2017.  Dr. Dina Badie, Assistant Professor of Politics and International Studies at Centre College, spoke about the prospects for peace in the Middle East under the Trump administration.

January 2017:  Supporting the Rights of Immigrants and Refugees.  Panelists: Isabel Taylor, Multicultural Affairs Coordinator for Lexington Fayette Govt;  the Rev. Kenneth Golphin, Pastor, Quinn Chapel AME Church; and Dr. Nadia Rasheed, member of CMD Steering Committee and civic activist. They spoke on understanding their human and civil rights and be able to advocate on their behalf for the protection of those rights.

Nov 2016: Brother Paul Quenon spoke about the impact that Islam has had on his life as a monk.

October 2016: A Dialogue of Faith: Panelists Dr. Aiyub Palmer, Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Kentucky, and The Right Reverend Bruce Caldwell, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, answered the same questions posed by the moderator. These included whether we worship the same God; if one can be faithful to Jesus or Mohammed and still be accepting of other faiths, and more.

Sept 2016:  Dr. Rob Bosco, Associate Professor of International Studies at Centre College, spoke about the complications when political institutions intervene in religious issues and attempt to co-opt religious leaders.

August 2016: Film: “Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think”. This 55-minute documentary, a product of a six-year survey conducted by Gallup, was shown, followed by moderated discussion.

April 2016:  Dr. Richard Cahilll, Director of International Education and Associate Professor of History, Berea College, spoke  to us about the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. 

March 2016: A panel consisting of Sgt.. Rahsaan Berry, Lexington Police Officer; Mr. Andres Cruz, editor of La Voz, Lexington's bilingual newspaper;  and Mr. Charlie Lanter, Director of the LFUCG Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention., spoke to us about Lexington initiatives to keep dialogue open, welcoming, and friendly between peoples of different cultures. 

Feb 2016:  Dr. Matthew Pierce spoke about the History of Islam in America, including early Muslims who aided explorers of the Americas, Muslim Africans who were captured and sent as slaves to North America, and up to the 20th c. with the Nation of Islam . The autobiography of Malcolm X was highly recommended as "required reading."

Jan 2016.  Richard Mitchell, Quaker, Shahied Rashied, Imam, and Dr. Clayton Thyne, UK professor and Director of the Peace Studies program, led a discussion on peace and peacemaking. Mitchell and Rashied emphasized that peace starts from within, while Thyne presented statistics showing a decline in all manner of non-natural deaths. 

November 2015:  Islam 101, question and answer session led by Imam Shahied Rasheed.

October 2015: Fr Thomas Galloway, pastor of St. Andrews Orthodox Church, led a discussion about Syria.

September 2015: Dr. Ihsan Bagby, associate professor of Islamic Studies at UK, and Tim Darst, executive director of Kentucky Power and Light, spoke about a religisous and moral response to environmental issues.

August 2015:  Film "Faces of the Enemy" (trailer here), followed by a moderated discussion

April 2015: Rabbi Moshe Smolkin from Ohavey Zion spoke to the group about "Serving the needy in our community".

March 2015: Writer and scholar Charles Upton discussed Dr. John Morrow’s 2014 European book tour that shared Morrow's work studying and authenticating what Morrow calls Mohammed’s Covenant with the Christians of the World.  

February 2015: "Islamaphobia Revisited"  Panel discussion with Shahied Rashid, Imam Masjid Bilal; Ms. Roula Allouch, Atty and Representative to Council on American-Islamic Relations; and Ronald Walker, Assistant US Attorney General, Eastern Region of Kentucky.

January 2015:  "A Panel Presentatioin from UK"s Students for Justice in Palestine"

A presentation and discussion of the condition of Palestinians in Israel/Palestine, from WWI and WWII through today.

October 2014:  "Religious Reporting in the Secular Media"

A panel discussion with Pam Parry from Eastern Kentucky University and Stu Johnson, producer-reporter for WEKU. They spoke of their experiences in reporting on religion, including how stories are selected, and how they are written and produced.

Sept 2014: "A Panel Presentation from UK's Muslim Student Association"

Muslim students at the University of Kentucky - Emaan Qureshi, Nada Shalash, and Asad Jawaid - spoke of their experiences and of their efforts to build communication and understanding on campus.

August 2014: "When Interfaith Dialogue Becomes Intra-faith Dialogue: The Dilemma of Dual-Citizenship"

Speaker: Dr. Matthew Pierce (Assistant Professor of Religion at Centre College)

Description:  Drawing on his own faith journey in both Christianity and Islam, he spoke of how his involvement in interfaith dialogue developed into a commitment to two religious traditions

April 2014 - "World Religions--Hindrance or Help to Peace and Justice"

Speaker:  The Rev. Don Nunnelly, retired minister, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Description:   The Rev. Nunnelly spoke of his "attempt to lift up past and present forms of religious intolerance that have led to violence and to counter this with examples of religious groups finding ways to work together with diverse faith positions."

March 2014 - “Our Blessed Earth:  One Woman’s Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life.”  
Speaker:  Nancy Sleeth, author and co-founder of Blessed Earth, a Christian environmental nonprofit.  

Description - Sleeth, author of Almost Amish and co-founder of the Christian nonprofit Blessed Earth, shared how her family downsized to a house the size of their old garage, got rid of more than half of their possessions, and rediscovered the simple joys of a faith-focused life.

February 2014 -  “Faithful Christian and Muslim Women as Agents of Change within Faith Communities:

An Exploration of Traditional and New Ground-breaking Roles of Faithful Women within Christianity and Islam"

Description:  The independent film, "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican," was shown. The film documents the ground-breaking role of women priests within the Roman Catholic Church in United States, Canada, Britain and Europe. Then a panel of Christian and Muslim women spoke on their roles as women of faith.

Panel: The Rev. Donna Rougeux and The Rev. Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ordained priests of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests ( and Dr. Nadia Rasheed of Masjid Bilal Ibn Rabah in Lexington.

January 2014 - “Restorative Justice: Dialogue for the sake of Healing”

Speaker:  Dean Bucalus, Attorney and ordained minister, Luther Lockett Church INSIDE the Luther Lockett Correctional Institution.    

October 2013 - Dr. Nadia Rasheed (member of our CMD steering committee), presented workshop "Civil Dialogue" for Kentucky Council of Churches annual assembly at Kentucky Dam Village State Park, Gilbertsville, KY.

October 2013 - “Centre Faith – Living Among Many Faith Traditions”

Panelists:  Students from Centre College, Danville, KY.

Septembe 2013 -  “The Prophet’s Covenant with the Christians of the World”
Speaker:  Dr. John Andrew Morrow, Internationally recognized research scholar, with published articles in English, French and Spanish.   The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World ,by Dr. John Andrew Morrow is now available on

Augus 2013 -  "Muslim Brotherhood: Questions... and more questions!" 

Dr. Ashraf El-Ezz, M.D., of Somerset, KY, gave a presentation on the history of the Muslim Brotherhood from their founding in Egypt in 1928 to the present day.

July 1, 2013 - We made a one-day tour with Fr. John Rausch, Director of Catholic Committee of Appalachia which included a visit to an Eastern Kentucky mountain top removal site as well as the beauty and inspiration of “God’s garden.” 

April 2013 -   “Environmental Stewardship and our Faith Traditions”
Speaker, Fr. John S. Rausch, Director of Catholic Committee of Appalachia

March 2013 -  “Religion and Diplomacy”
Senior Professor John Stempel, Retired director, UK Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.  Special interest: The Middle East.
Poet Jane Vance, reading her poem, At the Newark Airport, Looking toward Mecca.

February 2013 - “The Future of Our Diverse Religious Past: Conversation with Transylvania Student Leaders.”  At Old Morrison Hall, Transylvania Campus.
Moderator, Dr. Wilson Dickinson, Assoc. Dean of Religious Life, Transylvania University

January 2013 -   “Welcoming the Stranger”
Barbara Klein, Executive Director, Kentucky Refugee Ministry
Jonathan Bialosky, Program Director, Maxwell St. Legal Clinic
Moderator, Carol Ruthven, Priest, St Andrews Episcopal Church