Author: David Grafton

David D. Grafton is the Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Duncan Black Macdonald Center, Hartford International University for Religion and Peace, Hartford, Connecticut.

“But what if they lose their faith?” Creating Appreciative Multifaith Classrooms in Seminary

[1] I was invited by a congregation to lead an educational series on Islam and Christian-Muslim relations during one of the numerous politically controversial moments in our nation that fixated on Muslims. This is usually the time when I am invited to speak – when there is a political controversy. My intent, however, was to […]

Part II: Public Ministry in Multi-Faith Contexts: What It Is Not, What It Is and What It Requires of Religious Leaders

Part II serves as a helpful guide as to how public multi-faith ministry should and should not function. Drawing upon resources from the World Council of Churches and his experience with Lutheran-Muslim relations, Grafton dispels assumptions about how inter-religious work need be formal and focused on finding agreement. Instead, he points to intentionality, maturity, patience, and being guest-oriented as keys to fruitful mutuality.

Part I: Are We Really a Public Church? Ministry in a Multi-Faith North America

In Part I of his look at ministry in multi-faith contexts, Grafton lays out the religious context of the United States as it was perceived in the 20th century and how it is lived in actuality today. What does it mean to be a public church, as the ELCA is called to be, when the public is not a community that is predominately Lutheran, or even Christian? For Grafton, the answer lies not in forsaking Lutheran principles, but in living them out in relationship.

German Lutherans and Assimilation: Lessons in the Current Atmosphere of Islamophobia

[1] One of our great American patriots and public servants has always been a staunch advocate of the need for immigrant communities to assimilate into traditional American culture, adopting the English language and the values of its national heritage. So, it is not a surprise that he has also been critical of immigrants coming to […]

The Youth Revolution in Egypt and the Church’s Response?

Where Did this Come From? [1] Anyone familiar with the United Nations Arab Human Development Reports published between 2002 and 2010 watched the events unfolding at Tahrir Square in the center of Cairo on January 25, 2011, and wondered, “What took them so long?” The AHDRs were major research projects undertaken by Arab social scientists […]