Interfaith and Higher Education (Part 3): Constructive Reactions to Local/Global Affairs

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs on May 1st

This is the third article in a several part series throughout this quarter, written by Nic Cable, focusing on the complexities of interfaith work in higher education. These articles are in conjunction with an academic independent study project on the same themes. This article was originally published in the DePaulia, DePaul University’s student newspaper.

Late at night on Sunday, May 1, a text message notified me to turn on the news, if I wasn’t already watching it. So, I did. In bold type, which I assume many will never forget, the headline read, “Bin Laden is Dead.” Continue reading

Reminiscences of the Olcott Library

Henry S. Olcott portrait in Olcott library; Co-founder of the Theosophical Society.

This article was written by Dominique Johnson, a sophomore at DePaul University. Dominique is an active member of DePaul Interfaith.

The boy sat at the usual desk in the Olcott library of the Theosophical Society in Wheaton. He was staying there for the summer, researching and typing articles. While contemplating on the past days and days ahead, a thought suddenly rushes through echoing—Islam, try Islam, try Islam! Over the past days of meditating, praying, contemplating while maintaining a vegetarian diet, the voice that was once slightly faint became as a Teacher, guide and poet. The inner voice filled his mind again saying “on your break, go to the Quest bookstore and buy the Qur’an!” So he went during his break. Continue reading

A Day in the Scarf

This post was written by Bridget Liddell, a senior at DePaul finishing her degree in Theater Arts and Philosophy. Bridget is also completing her second year as an Interfaith Scholar and identifies as an Independent Earth Spiritualist.

I was unsure at first, wondering if it would be offensive to participate in International Scarves in Solidarity. After checking in with a friend comforted some fears about upsetting someone, I, not Muslim, covered my hair on April 21st, the day set aside to demonstrate support for a woman’s right to choose what she will wear.

I emphasize that everything I write has no intention of making any generalizing claims, but rather speaks to how I processed my experience. Continue reading

Striving for Religious Tolerance Must Be a Global Movement

Terry Jones Promoting "Burn A Koran Day"

This article was written by Peter Dziedzic, a sophomore at DePaul, who is pursuing a double major in Religious Studies and English. Peter is the co-President of DePaul Interfaith and member of the Executive Committee of the Better Together Campaign at DePaul University. Follow Peter on Twitter.

Last month, an act of religious intolerance and spiritual ignorance scarred the progress that had been made in interfaith relations across this nation and across the world. Terry Jones, the Florida pastor condemned for making a push to establish “Burn a Koran Day” on the 9th anniversary of 9/11 last year, went ahead as planned and burned a Qur’an, offering a message that is thrown only in dark ages and wearisome times – we will not tolerate that which we do not know, and we will not welcome those who are not like us. Continue reading

The Purpose of Life


This article was written by Mohammad Yassin, the Muslim Interfaith Scholar at DePaul. Mohammad serves on the E-Board of DePaul’s Muslim Student Association, United Muslims Moving Ahead (UMMA).

Assalamu Alaykum (May Peace be Upon You),

Yes, the big question, the question of all questions, thee question

With it, the mysteries, qualms, & sorrows of life alleviate & cease to exist

But without it…well…life’s ghastly, daunting, & dead Continue reading

Recalling Our Destiny: The Importance of Community in Spiritual Practice

Today’s post is by Nic Cable, a senior at Depaul, who is pursuing a double major in Religious Studies and Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies. He is serving his second year as an Interfaith Scholar at DePaul University and is the Director of the Better Together Campaign at this institution.

Life is often circular. Things come and go. The seasons rage and pass every year, as does the sun, which rises and sets each morning and night. Humans, too, can show patterns in their actions. It has been more than six month since I began fasting for the month of Ramadan in mid-august. The experience was phenomenal physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My body, mind, and soul were reawakened to the purpose of sacrifice, thankfulness, and global family. Ramadan, as I soon learned, was about being conscious, aware of the unjust realities that surround us, as well as the beautiful gifts that are shared with us everyday. Conscious consumption is the most ethical consumption, not just of food, but of all we come across in our lives. Utility is a blessing and that which is used must be treated as such. While one stomach remains hungry, all humans remain hungry. These were some of the lessons I learned during my experience with Ramadan. Continue reading

A Muslim Goes to Mass

St. Vincent DePaul Church

This article was written by Mohammad Yassin, the Muslim Interfaith Scholar at DePaul. Mohammad serves on the E-Board of DePaul’s Muslim Student Association, United Muslims Moving Ahead (UMMA).


Sunday November 7th, 2010, marked a milestone in my life: my 1st ever Catholic Mass. Thank God I had a buddy like Christina (your fellow Catholic interfaith scholar) with me to ease my first-time butterflies.

The Mass

Walking in from the cold, brisk air of early November and into the St. Vincent DePaul Church was just the beginning. When we opened the tall, wooden doors, the warmth and jubilance of the congregation instantly cuddled us into its arms where the cold couldn’t catch us. Then Christina and I made our way to our seats, the opening hymn concluded, and mass begun. Continue reading

Meditation: The Transcendent Core that Unites Us

This article was written by Peter Dziedzic, a sophomore at DePaul, who is pursuing a double major in Religious Studies and English. Peter is the co-President of DePaul Interfaith and member of the Executive Committee of the Better Together Campaign at DePaul University. Follow Peter on Twitter.

As a Catholic, I often turned to Gregorian chanting for spiritual focus and meditation. In these hymns, I found an enchantment that journeyed beyond concepts of doctrine and creed and reverberated within a deeply transcendent, deeply mystical core of my being. On February 8, many individuals from the DePaul and Chicago community fought frigid temperatures to learn from, and meditate with, Sufis and Benedictines. While the first half of the night was dedicated to rediscovering a joy found in familiar Gregorian chants, the second half of the night was an invitation to something truly beautiful, a journey into the heart of what unites us as religious and spiritual beings. Continue reading

Islam: Not A Religion


Arabic writing meaning: "May Peace Be Upon You"

Today’s guest post is by Mohammad Yassin, a sophomore at DePaul University, studying in the College of Commerce. Mohammad serves on the E-Board of DePaul’s Muslim Student Association, United Muslims Moving Ahead (UMMA), and as an Interfaith Scholar. He is looking forward to occasionally writing for this blog about religious topics in order to help others learn more about Islam and other faith traditions.

Yes, you heard me right, Islam is not a religion. Why Not?!? Well, first let me introduce myself before I elaborate.

My name is Mohammad, and I’m currently a sophomore at DePaul University. I am a board member for my university’s MSA (Muslim Student Association) as well as an Interfaith Scholar in our University’s interfaith group (not including my other involvements on campus). Thus, when Nic gave me the opportunity to contribute to the DePaul Interfaith blog I found it very difficult to pass up. Continue reading

Victims and Villains: How We Think About Our Muslim Neighbors Matters

This blog post was submitted by Nicholas R. Lang, a senior at DePaul University. Nick serves as Media Intern for the Interfaith Youth Core and is a resident of the Vincent and Louise House on campus. He is also a co-founder and co-president of DePaul A.V. Club.

When we talk about Islamophobia, we generally talk about such hate as a phenomenon very much in the present.  The Park51 and Shariah law controversies have made Americans and our media hyperaware of the state of Islamophobia in 2010, as if we are experiencing intolerance anew.

However, while watching the Muslim-Christian episode of Morgan Spurlock’s late, great reality series, “30 Days,” I made an interesting discovery.

For those who haven’t seen the program, each episode more or less follows a similar format.  People are made to live with each other for 30 days and at the beginning feel Very Different.  By the credits, they find out that they Aren’t Really That Different. Continue reading