President Berman Participates in Interfaith Panel with Religious College Leaders
President Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman participated in a panel discussion with leaders of other religious colleges at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Conference in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 1.
President Berman sat with the presidents of Brigham Young University (affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah), Zaytuna College (A Muslim Liberal Arts College in California), Regis University (A Jesuit-Catholic school in Colorado) and Houghton College (A Protestant Institute in Utica, NY) to discuss “what faith-based schools from diverse backgrounds have in common,” according to the Religious News Service (RNS).
At the panel, RNS reported that President Berman stated that “Faith-based schools help students ‘to contextualize our lives in a greater mission, to have a sense of holiness about everything that we do.’” He also explained that after he became president he sought out Brigham Young President Kevin J. Worthen and the presidents of Catholic University of America and Fordham University to “compare notes with colleagues of other faith-based institutions,” according to the article.
Inside Higher Ed wrote that President Berman said, “I see this moment in time as a moment of opportunity for religion or faith,” and that “I look at the world and the way things are analyzed or thought about, I see that there’s place for us now that is profound and necessary.”
They reported that President Berman spoke about his disbelief at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology team of researchers that decided to answer the “trolley problem” for self-driving cars by taking a survey. “We come with a 3,000-year-old tradition of wisdom, of texts, of substance, of ideas, of values, of nuance. And we bring that to contemporary issues and challenges and we are able to speak with weight.” “How did they resolve one of the great philosophical challenges or ethical issues of our time?” President Berman asked. “They took a survey.”
Photo Caption: From left: Brigham Young University’s Kevin J. Worthen, President Berman, Regis University's John Fitzgibbons, Zaytuna College's Hamza Yusuf, Houghton College's Shirley Mullen and moderator Peter Wehner.
Photo Credit: Insider Higher Ed, Courtesy of Council of Christian Colleges and Universities