Compass Fall / Winter 2011

Page 1


fall/winter 2011/12 volume 2, number 2

Iona Pacific Centre Presents Professor of Arabic & Islamic Thought from Spain

Professor Emilio González Ferrín

Submitted by Dr. Robert Daum

Emilio González Ferrín, professor of Arabic and Islamic Thought at the University of Seville (Spain) visited British Columbia from November 7–10. He presented a series of lectures and workshops for the university and local communities in Kelowna, Burnaby, and Vancouver on the history of Islam and Muslim cultures. His visit as a 2011 Iona Pacific Visiting Scholar was part of Vancouver School of Theology’s “Critical Conversations about Religion” series. The events were sponsored by Iona Pacific Inter-religious Centre at Vancouver School of Theology, along with co-sponsors: the Department of Critical Studies, FCCS, UBC (Okanagan), Green College, UBC, and the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures, SFU.

Prof. González Ferrín, who holds the Al-Andalus Chair and is president of the Gordion Foundation, is the author of nine major books, including Islamic Ethics and Politics (Seville, 2001), A General History of Al-Andalus (Cordoba, 2006), and Qur’an: The Inflected Word (Oviedo, 2002), which won the Jovellanos International Prize. His research investigates the origins of medieval Spain; the history of the religious culture and politics of medieval Spain; “Euro-Arab” cultural cooperation; early Islam and comparative religious cultures; Al-Andalus as a paradigm for examining the notion of “continuity” in history, and aspects of western Europe’s cultural sources preserved in Arabic and Hebrew traditions from the Middle East. cont. on page 2


cont. from page 1 The lecture series was conceived by Iona Pacific Centre Director Rabbi Dr. Robert Daum and UBC Prof. Francisco Peña, who sought to introduce a more nuanced understanding of the early history of Islam in Europe. In Spain Prof. González Ferrín has been an advocate supporting efforts by the local Muslim community of Seville to build a new mosque. In Kelowna Prof. González Ferrín began with a workshop entitled “711 CE – 2011 CE: A Moorish Invasion of Europe? Myth and History,” which was held at UBC’s Okanagan campus. The session centered around the idea that history reveals important links between the Greco-Roman literary tradition and European narratives of the development of Islam. At SFU in Burnaby Dr. Ferrín delivered a lecture entitled “Islam as an Explanation,” in which he argued that rather than seeking explanations for Islam, historians should begin with the fact of Islam itself as the explanation, the culmination of its development. Dr. González Ferrín also was invited to speak at UBC’s Green College in the Principal’s Series: “Thinking at the Edge of Reason.” There he delivered a talk to a standing room only audience entitled: “Between Early

Hellenic Islam and a Semitic European Renaissance: A Historiology of Arab Middle Ages.” This lecture discussed the idea that Medieval Arabic and Hebrew sources provide evidence of Mediterranean ‘continuities’ between an early Hellenic Islam and a Semitic European renaissance. His final lecture at Vancouver School of Theology’s Chapel of the Epiphany was entitled “Religious History Outside the Box: The Holy Qur’an as Cultural Source.” This lecture proposed that a cultural reading of the Holy Qur’an offers an unexpected source of Islamic ‘normalization’ after centuries of obscurantist alienation fostered by the fact that many of the critical texts providing information about the early history of Islam are available only to scholars who can read Arabic and Syriac. The final event of the week ended in a workshop held at Vancouver School of Theology, which was entitled “Development vs. Transmission in Religious Systems: the Case of Islam.” In this session participants considered the value of replacing the concept of “transmission” with the concept of “development” in reconstructing the history of religious systems. The workshop journeyed from the history of early Islam to the contemporary period. For information about lectures and other programs at Iona Pacific Centre on the UBC Campus, contact

... rather than seeking explanations for Islam, historians should begin with the fact of Islam itself as the explanation, the culmination of its development.


Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong In March of 2012, thanks to a generous invitation from SFU’s Centre for Dialogue, internationally renowned author and humanitarian Karen Armstrong, winner of the TED Prize, founder of the Charter for Compassion movement, and designee for the prestigious Jack P. Blaney Award at SFU, will be featured at an extraordinary conference on Compassion in Religion hosted by Iona Pacific at VST on the UBC Campus on Thursday, March 29. Pre-registration is required. The conference is principally for postsecondary students (undergraduate and graduate students). Invitations for registration will be issued in January. For those unable to participate in this event, there will be several other events in the area, including large capacity venues. For more information about these events, see


Compassion and Religion with Karen Armstrong: Iona Pacific appoints Aliya Hirji to

help coordinate March, 2012 student conference Submitted by Dr. Robert Daum

Thanks to the support of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Iona Pacific at Vancouver School of Theology was awarded a youth employment Service Canada grant to engage Aliya Hirji in a full-time Career Focus contract from November 21, 2011 through March 31, 2012. Aliya’s position is Youth Leadership Coordinator. Her work entails assisting the Director of Iona Pacific by coordinating planning and logistics for a major student conference hosted by Iona Pacific at VST on Compassion and Religion featuring the distinguished scholar and author, Karen Armstrong, on March 29, 2012. This historic conference will assemble up to 200 postsecondary students from universities and colleges in the region, along with a small representative group of elders and teachers from a diverse mix of religious communities, for a conversation about compassion and religion. Registration at the conference will be limited strictly; more information will be available in 2012. There will be various other opportunities for members of the VST and wider community to hear Aliya Hirji Karen Armstrong during her visit to the region, which is sponsored principally by Simon Fraser University’s This historic conference renowned Centre for Dialogue, along with Iona will assemble up to 200 Pacific Inter-religious Centre at VST, the Vancouver Board of Trade, the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and postsecondary students Education, Free the Children, the Greater Vancouver from universities and Compassion Network, SFU’s Faculty of Education, and the Rix Centre. For more information about the Karen colleges in the region, along Armstrong events, see As a Family Educator, Aliya Hirji has been active in a number of projects since the beginning of November related to two of her interests: family education and inter-religious discussions. At the beginning of November, Aliya presented to Langara College undergraduate students about her educational and professional experiences. This includes the journey that she was on when she became interested in inter-religious discussions, and her involvement as a member of the Iona Pacific team for the past two and one-half years. While she was attending the annual conference that the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) organizes for Family Educators around North America, she received the good news of her appointment as the Youth Leadership Coordinator at Iona Pacific. Since November 21, Aliya has been meeting with university student groups all over the region, and her excitement about the conference is growing daily. While planning this conference, she also is writing a newsletter article for the March 2012 issue of NCFR News. In the article

with a small representative group of elders and teachers from a diverse mix of religious communities, for a conversation about compassion and religion...

she will offer recommendations for NCFR researchers, therapists and CFLEs regarding what it means to be culturally competent in researching and working with Muslim families. While connecting with Family Educators in beautiful Orlando (her holiday trip for the year), Aliya was asked to participate in a blog about the work that she does with Iona Pacific, as well as projects that she takes on as a Muslim Interfaith Family Educator. Aliya says, “I am blessed to be able to connect my two passions of participating in inter-religious discussions and family education.” 3


Dr. Rosa Sevy, Iona Pacific Post-doctoral Fellow, has now started her third Mothers’ Inter-faith and intercultural bridging program. Based on the success of the previous programs, the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia awarded Iona Pacific with the competitive and prestigious BC Embrace Grant. This funding will enable Dr. Sevy to continue creating and implementing bridging parenting programs aimed to engage established and immigrant mothers from different faith groups and diverse groups in conversations intended to learn about each other’s cultures and traditions, and explore common practices and concerns in their role as mothers, wives, and active members of their communities. Through the encounter with fellow women who are going through the challenges involved in child-rearing practices, this project aims to create a context for promoting personal friendships and connections, where the participants can realize that their commonalities as women and mothers transcend faith, cultural or political differences. The objectives of these programs are to provide participants with a space where they can meet and interact on a personal level with women from diverse faiths and nationalities who are in a similar stage and facing similar child-rearing challenges. These initiatives are also intended to provide participants with an opportunity to learn from professionals in the field of child psychology different topics related to parenting, promote respect for differences, cooperation, and the opportunity to counter prejudices and stereotypes


originating from misinformation and lack of face-toface encounters with members of other Faiths and ethno-cultural communities and prepare participants to envision, plan and implement similar projects in their communities.

This new program has been deeply enriched by the support of the Program Coordinator, Veronica Martinez and the Planning Committee formed by Ronit Berger, Adele Lewin, Saqi Saqian and Yvonne Hsu, all of them mothers from different Faith traditions and ethno-cultural backgrounds, who participated in the past Building Bridges Mothers’ Program. In addition to their support and enthusiasm for this program, these mothers were asked to join the Planning Committee for their wonderful leadership skills and creativity. The members of the Planning Committee mothers will actively interact with the Participant mothers during the project sessions, lead activities and provide a direct example and role modeling of effective Inter-faith collaboration and team work.

The program has been very well received in the diverse communities and it is operating at its maximum capacity. The participants for the Mothers’ Interfaith Bridging come from five faith traditions: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Baha’i and the following nationalities: Canada, United States, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, India, Israel, Egypt, Iran, Mexico, China, Taiwan, Ethiopia, and Chile. This amazing diversity of mothers proudly reflect our Vancouver’s multi-cultural, multi-faith communities.

TRADITIONS AND FOURTEEN THER IN DR. SEVY’S NEW G PROGRAM ... this project aims to create a context for promoting personal friendships and connections, where the participants can realize that their commonalities as women and mothers transcend faith, cultural or political differences.

Rosa Sevy, Rachel Demoze, and Veronica Martinez—Mothers' Interfaith Bridging Project


• Office of Religious Freedom Consultations

Dr. Robert Daum

• Interactive Videoconference with US Government • City Hall Event • Annual Study Conference of Diocese of New Westminster • Teaching in the Community • Victoria Intensive Course • UBC Undergraduate Lectures • SFU Centre for Dialogue Academic Steering Committee • Honorary Doctorate for Scholarly Distinction • 2011 Research Publications

Iona Pacific Director’s Report Iona Pacific Director Participates in Office of Religious Freedom Consultations IP Director Dr. Robert Daum was invited to participate in consultations with a broad spectrum of religious community leaders regarding the Government of Canada’s newly proposed Office of Religious Freedom. This initiative seeks to support religious freedom of religious minorities in countries around the world. In addition to participating in a round-table consultation in Vancouver with the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism, the Hon. Jason Kenney, Rabbi Daum was invited to a conference in Ottawa convened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the same subject. Owing to a scheduling conflict, Dr. Daum was unable to attend the conference in Ottawa. Iona Pacific Director Participates in Interactive Videoconference with U.S. Government Special Representative to Muslim Communities On November 17 Dr. Daum participated in a live, interactive video conference held simultaneously in six Canadian cities, which was hosted locally at the U.S. 6

Consulate in Vancouver. The featured presenter was Farah Anwar Pandith, the first ever U.S. Government Special Representative to Muslim Communities, who reports directly to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Rabbi Daum was one of two non-Muslims in attendance at the Vancouver gathering. Similar groups, consisting mostly of Muslim community leaders, were assembled at U.S. consular offices in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Quebec City, and Winnipeg. Ms. Pandith spoke about “2011 Hours Against Hate,” a campaign she helped to launch in early 2011 focused on getting young people all over the world to volunteer their time to build stronger communities that value pluralism and diversity and reject hate and bigotry. Iona Pacific Director and VST Principal and Dean Celebrate Bonds between Muslims, Jews, and Christians at Vancouver City Hall At the invitation of the leading organizations of the Muslim community of B.C., Dr. Wendy Fletcher and Dr. Daum offered public greetings on November 5 at Vancouver City Hall, from, respectively, the Christian and Jewish traditions, in a ceremony hosted by the Mayor

cont. on next page

cont. from previous page and City Council for the Muslim community of B.C. to commemorate the “Feast of the Sacrifice.” Muslim community dignitaries spoke at the event, as did Mayor Gregor Robertson, Dr. Fletcher, and Dr. Daum. IP Director teaches at Annual Study Conference of Diocese of New Westminster Rabbi Daum was the Visiting Scholar at the Annual Clergy Study Conference for the Diocese of New Westminster in October. Rabbi Daum’s presentations were entitled: “Before we were so rudely interrupted: Jerusalem, Córdoba, Vancouver.” Rabbi Daum served as Visiting Scholar in March at the British Columbia Synod’s Clergy Study Conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. His presentations were entitled “Sharing narrative space: Jewish—Christian Dialogue and Biblical Interpretation.” In May Rabbi Daum participated by video-link in a workshop at the Annual Behold Conference of the United Church of Canada. Dr. Robert Daum (at podium) and Dr. Wendy Fletcher (second from right) at City Hall

IP Director Teaches in the Community In January, Rabbi Daum served as a Distinguished Speaker in the Centennial Distinguished Speakers Series at St. Mary’s Kerrisdale Anglican Church, where he later participated in the Distinguished Preacher series. In February, he delivered an address at Canadian Memorial United Church. In March, Rabbi Daum hosted a Philosopher’s Café session at the Peretz Centre in Vancouver, which was hosted by the BC Jewish Museum and Archives. In June Rabbi Daum gave a presentation on Iona Pacific for the Vancouver Roundtable at the Vancouver Club. On June 21 Rabbi Daum delivered the graduation address at the Jewish Community Centre of Vancouver for the Florence Melton Mini-School. His lecture was entitled “ ‘Black fire on white fire’: Living with Jewish texts.” In July, 2011, Prof. Robert Daum taught a one-week course, “Wrestling with Sacred Texts,” at the Sorrento Centre in Sorrento, BC. In December Rabbi Daum presented a lecture at Temple Sholom in Vancouver for the Annual Sisterhood Shabbat program hosted by the Women of Reform Judaism. On February 8 he will make a presentation at the local chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women. cont. on page 8


cont. from page 7 IP Director to Teach Intensive Course in Victoria

The following courses are available for both Audit and Certificate credit, or for

Professor Daum will teach “Sacred texts in a multi-religious society,” a VST Extension Intensive Course, at Christ Basic and Advanced Degree credit through Vancouver School of Theology. Church Cathedral, in Victoria, BC, February 28–March 2, 2012. Fortake more information, see VANCOUVER SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY These courses will both place at Christ Church Cathedral, 930 Burdett programs/continuing-education/extension-sites-v Ave, Victoria, BC.

Spirituality of Leadership October 27-29, 2011 REV. DR. WEnDy FlEtchER The following courses are available for both Audit and Certificate credit, or for Basicpresses and Advanced credit through School of Theology. Leadership in today’s churches for today’s world againstDegree the edges of the very Vancouver most we have to offer. Drawing on OF THEOLOGY Theseofcourses willpractice both take at Christ Church 930 Burdett theVANCOUVER wisdom SCHOOL of leadership from other generations Christian setplace in conversation withCathedral, contemporary leadership Ave, Victoria, BC. the challenge of leadership today as a spiritual practice to theory from the world beyond religion, this course will explore be held in the context of empowered communities. Moving beyond the adversarial cosmology of a competitive marketplace, to the space created when seekers strive to find and follow a Word of Life together, we will engage the discourse of leadership as gift, opportunity and spiritual path. Wendy Fletcher is Principal and Dean, and Professor of the History of Christianity at Vancouver School of Theology.

Spirituality of Leadership Sacred Texts in a Multi-religious Society October 27-29, 2011

February 29–March 2, 2012 REV. DR. WEnDy FlEtchER RABBI RoBERt DAumchurches for today’s world presses against the edges of the very most we have to offer. Drawing on Leadership in today’s This provide anfrom introduction to some of critical issues in theset interpretation of sacred oral and written traditions the course wisdomwill of leadership other generations Christian practice in conversation with contemporary leadership from the world beyond this course will explore the challenge of leadership today Islam, as a spiritual practice to intheory multi-religious societies pastreligion, and present, with particular attention to Judaism, Christianity, and First Nations be held in context of empowered communities. Movingor beyond the adversarial cosmology of a competitive marketplace, cultures. Wethe will consider the phenomenon of text-based text-centered religiosity in societies with overlapping sacred to the traditions, space created when seekers strive to find and follow a Word of Life together, we will engage theliterary, discourse of textual from various perspectives, including historical, political, aesthetic, ethical, legal, linguistic, leadership as gift, social, opportunity and spiritualtopath. mystical, spiritual, and experiential, provide a framework and resources for present day reflection on the place of sacred texts and textual interpretation in contemporary cultures. Wendy Fletcher is Principal and Dean, and Professor of thereligious History of Christianity at Vancouver School of Theology. Robert Daum is Director of the Iona Pacific Centre and Associate Professor of Rabbinic Literature and Jewish Thought.

Sacred Texts in a Multi-religious Society February 29–March 2, 2012 RABBI RoBERt DAum This course will provide an introduction to some critical issues in the interpretation of sacred oral and written traditions in multi-religious societies past and present, with particular attention to Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and First Nations cultures. We will consider the phenomenon of text-based or text-centered religiosity in societies with overlapping sacred textual traditions, from various perspectives, including historical, political, aesthetic, ethical, legal, literary, linguistic, mystical, spiritual, and experiential, provide a framework and resources present day2011, reflection on the placepreof Professor Daumsocial, Delivers Two to Lectures delivered at UBCforJump Start an innovative sacred texts and textual interpretation in contemporary religious cultures. for Undergaduates at UBC session transition program for new First Nation and Robert Daum is Director of the Iona Pacific Centre and Associate Professor of Rabbinic Literature and Jewish Thought.

In September Professor Daum delivered the opening lecture in one of the two sections of UBC’s premier Arts program for undergraduates, Arts One. His lecture, “Genesis: Dangerous Questions, Forbidden Knowledge,” was followed by a lecture on Immanuel Kant by a professor in the Philosophy Department. Prof. Daum has delivered the opening lecture in Arts One (Group A) at UBC on five occasions. Prof. Daum’s second recent UBC lecture was in August. His lecture, “Who are those other people? Fear, conflict, and religious differences,” was 8

First People students and international students at UBC-Vancouver.

IP Director Appointed to SFU Centre for Dialogue Academic Steering Committee This past spring Professor Daum was appointed to a three-year term (from April, 2011–March, 2014) as a member of the Academic Steering Committee of cont. on next page

cont. from previous page SFU’s Centre for Dialogue. Joining a multidisciplinary committee of SFU professors, Professor Daum will have the opportunity to contribute to and participate in the academic planning for the Centre for Dialogue. During this past semester Professor Daum served as a Visiting faculty member in the Centre of Dialogue’s signature program for undergraduates, the Undergraduate Semester in Dialogue. For more information about the Centre for Dialogue, see Iona Pacific Director Awarded Honorary Doctorate for Scholarly Distinction Dr. Robert Daum earned his PhD in Near Eastern Studies in 2001 at the University of California, Berkeley. In May of this year Dr. Daum was recognized for “25 years of scholarly distinction” and awarded a second doctorate honoris causa, by the Hebrew Union College –Jewish Institute of Religion. Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is the oldest institution of higher Jewish education in the United States and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and communal service professionals, and offers graduate and post-graduate programs to scholars of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise

renowned library and museum collections, the American Jewish Archives, biblical archaeology excavations, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. HUCJIR invites the community to an array of cultural and educational programs which illuminate Jewish history, identity, and contemporary creativity and which foster interfaith and multiethnic understanding. ProfESSOR Daum’s Research Publications in 2011 Professor Daum published a chapter and co-edited an anthology of essays in a scholarly work published by the University of Toronto Press in 2011. His chapter is entitled “Recalling the Nation’s Terrain: Narrative, Territory, and Canon.” The volume is entitled The Calling of the Nations: Exegesis, Ethnography, and Empire in a Biblical-Historic Present. The volume was co-edited by UBC Professor and Green College Principal Mark Vessey, along with VST Professors Sharon Betcher, Robert Daum, and Harry Maier. Dr. Daum published the lead article in the first issue of the second century of the Jewish Quarterly Review, which featured three scholarly articles and a series of book reviews. Professor Daum’s 26page article was entitled “Rhetorical Form and Didactic Content in a Rabbinic Poem.” The JQR is published by the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, Rabbi Daum’s encyclopedia entry, “Tosefta,” was published in The Cambridge Dictionary of Jewish History, Religion, and Culture, edited by distinguished historian, Judith Baskin. Baskin is Knight Professor of Humanities and Associate Dean, Humanities at the University of Oregon.

VST Student Publishes Inspirational Op-Ed Essay in Vancouver Sun VST Student Wade Lifton, a participant this fall in the intensive 15-credit course at SFU co-sponsored by VST’s Iona Pacific Centre along with two other VST students, Elyse Brazel and Chelsea Masterman, and 13 SFU students, was the first member of this fall’s Dialogue class to publish his op-ed essay in a major media outlet. Wade Lifton

To read Wade’s piece, see less+everyday+lives/5632075/story.html.


IP Youth Leadership Coordinator Aliya Hirji inaugurated IP’s Internship Program, advancing to the position of Senior Intern until she moved to her new position to coordinate the Karen Armstrong Conference on Compassion and Religion. The conference is principally sponsored by SFU’s Centre for Dialogue, and it will feature SFU Blaney Award-designate and TED Prize-winner Karen Armstrong in March, 2012. IP currently has two interns: UBC student Farha Khan, who hosts ProfTalk on the UBC radio station, and has a rich academic background, and Kevin Hsieh, an Adler School of Professional Psychology M.A. student in Counseling Psychology. Kevin is Iona Pacific’s fourth Community Service Practicum student from the Adler School in Vancouver. These unsalaried internships offer students an opportunity to contribute to the work of

the Centre, while gaining experience in the areas of intercultural religious research, community initiatives, and youth leadership development, as well as an opportunity for emerging leaders with exceptional training and experience in areas directly related to Iona Pacific’s mission and program to gain additional experience and play a vital role in the work of the Centre. Farha’s current project is organizing the UBC Campus Karen Armstrong Book Club. Kevin’s projects will be announced in January.

IP benefits from the generous gifts of VST students, about whom more will be reported in a subsequent newsletter issue. Iona Pacific Interns are appointed by the Director in consultation with staff and committees.

Farha Khan Iona Pacific Intern Farha Khan is a BA graduate of Native Studies at Trent University. Since her BA she has pursued studies in Classical Arabic, Spanish and History— fields which she hopes to turn into a graduate program that will look at the inter-religious dialogue in Al-Andalus of Medieval Iberia. Farha is also the host of a bimonthly radio show called Prof Talk on UBC’s CiTR 101.9FM (

Kevin Hsieh

Farha Khan

KEVIN HSIEH Iona Pacific Intern Kevin Hsieh is a practicum student from the Adler School of Professional Psychology. He has completed his BA in Psychology from SFU, the Diploma in Guidance Studies from UBC, and is currently in the Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology at Adler School. With a keen interest in spirituality and social responsibility, Kevin hopes to integrate both by promoting spiritual wellness at a societal level. 10

Iona Pacific Convenes International Conference:

“Scriptures in Medieval Iberia: Language, literature, and sacred text in a multi-religious society.” On June 6, 2011 Iona Pacific hosted an international conference featuring scholars from Canada, the United States, and Spain, on Scriptures in Medieval Iberia. The conference was organized by IP Director Dr. Robert Daum and Prof. Francisco Peña, from UBC’s Faculty of Critical Studies. The conference was co-sponsored by Iona Pacific at VST; the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, University of British Columbia (Okanagan campus); Universidad de Logroño (Spain); CILENGUA (the leading Spanish language research centre); Green College at UBC, and SFU’s Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures. To facilitate this international and bilingual scholarly gathering, simultaneous translation was provided by two translators and a state-of-the-art wireless transmission system. Conference participants were equipped with wireless headsets. The event was capped by a reception, which was generously hosted by Green College, celebrating the publication of a collection of scholarly essays contributed and edited by Green College Principal and UBC Professor Mark Vessey, along with VST Faculty members Dr. Sharon Betcher, Dr. Robert Daum, and Dr. Harry Maier.


In preparation for our co-sponsorship with SFU Centre for Dialogue of the exciting Karen Armstrong event this Spring, consider taking part in the upcoming book club which will be studying Armstrong's book entitled 'Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life'.


Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by

Karen Armstrong REGISTER YOUR BOOK CLUB BY JAN. 15, 2012 armstrong


» Discuss 12 accessible chapters on compassion in a reflective and thoughtful book club setting. » Get priority registration for Armstrong’s keynote lecture in March 2012 (live webcast available). » Receive 40% discounts on book orders over $200.

KAREN ARMSTRONG is one of the most provocative thinkers on the

a citywide conversation

role of religion in the modern world.

on compassion with

She is the author of Twelve Steps to

Karen Armstrong from

a Compassionate Life and a 2008

March 19–30, 2012.

TED Prize winner for the “Charter

Please visit

of Compassion,” a document endorsed by dignitaries

armstrong for details.

including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama.

EVENT PARTNERS Greater Vancouver Compassion Network



Register at 12

WHO WE ARE: PEOPLE AT IONA PACIFIC Director Robert A. Daum, Rabbi, Ph.D., Assoc. Prof. of Rabbinic Literature & Jewish Thought Postdoctoral Fellow & Program Coordinator Rosa Sevy, Ph.D. Youth Leadership Coordinator Aliya Hirji 2012 Interns Farha Kahn Kevin Hsieh

IP Youth Team Leaders 2012 Paula Davidescu Sara Eftekhar 2012 STUDENT Assistant Elyse Brazel, VST student IP Communications Shannon Lythgoe

IP Community Advisory Council Ms. Shirley Barnett, Dr. Paul Burns, Mrs. Daphne Francis, Meharoona Ghani, Chief and Councilor Wade Grant, Bishop Michael Ingham, Mr. Amin Jamal, Dr. Aziz Khaki, Chief Moses McKay, Dr. Deanna Nyce, Farid Rohani , Mr. Abraham Sacks, Mr. David Schwarz, Esq., Mr. James E. White, and Dr. Wendy Fletcher (ex-officio), Dr. Robert Daum (ex-officio)

The IP Program Committee is a diverse group of educators and community leaders, including representatives of VST Faculty Council and the Indigenous Studies Centre, Jewish Educator Betty Nitkin, Muslim Community Leader Maryam Abbasi, and IP staff. The IP Religious leaders Circle will be forming later this year. IP’s academic programs draw on the research and reaching faculty at Vancouver School of Theology; IP Visiting Scholars; IP Visiting Lecturers; Authors, Artists, and Contemplatives; and Interns from VST and other academic institutions.

Please support Iona Pacific’s work! Contact: Agata Cibinska, External Relations Associate 604-822-6315 / Iona Pacific Inter-religious Centre at Vancouver School of Theology 6000 Iona Drive, Vancouver, BC V6T 1L4 Ph: 604-827-4742 / 13


The Iona Pacific Inter-religious Centre gratefully acknowledges the following individuals, partners, and agencies for their generous support: DONORS

Alex McConnell Barbara and Dr. Lawrie Halparin Ben and Esther Dayson Charitable Foundation Betty and Irv Nitkin Daphne Francis David Schwartz and Debby Friedman Dawn Allen-Herron Dorothy Woodhouse Dr. Barry and Ronnie Tessler Dr. Charles and Dr. Joann Weinberg Dr. Errol and Oona Durbach Dr. Robert Daum Eleanor Reemeyer Eliezer and Itta Zeisler Fund Eugene Kenner Georgina M. Brunette Hanif Virani Howard and Rosalind Karby Itta and Eliezer Zeisler Fund Jean Matrick Jeanette Muzio John W. McLeod Jonathan Vogt Louise Rolston Marion Best Mary I. McDougall Paul Davidescu Pierremount Holdings Ltd. Phyllis Barlow Robert F. Lane Shelley Karrel in honour of Shirley Barnett Sisterhood of Temple Sholom Tobin Robbins and Sandra Broudy Tracy and Les Ames West Point Grey United Church William H. Levine


institutional & programmatic partners

Adler School of Professional Psychology, Vancouver Canadian Jewish Congress Centre for Christian Leadership, Vancouver School of Theology Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies & Cultures, SFU Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria CILENGUA, Spain Daniel Pearl Foundation Dept. of Classical, Near Eastern & Religious Studies, UBC Ecumenical & Multifaith Committee, Diocese of New Westminster Faculty of Critical Studies, UBC (Okanagan campus) Green College, UBC Indigenous Studies Centre, Vancouver School of Theology Muslim Canadian Federation SFU Centre for Dialogue St. Andrew’s—Wesley United Church, Vancouver Temple Sholom, Vancouver Universidad de Logroño, Spain Yuuhadaax Steering Committee


Sophie Waldman Endowment Fund

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