As a part of Cultural Diversity Festival and Islamic Awareness Week, the University of Kentucky’s Catholic Studies Department and Interfaith Dialogue Organization (IDO)  Rumi Forum hosted a lecture by Dr. Sidney Griffith on “The Qur`an in Christian Thought” on Thursday, Feb. 25th, in the W.T. Young Library Auditorium with the support of Rumi Forum (Washington, DC).


There weren’t always bombs over Baghdad, Christians and Muslims used to talk…a lot. Manuscripts from 10th century Baghdad show that there were questions being both asked and answered. Religious leaders participated in a constant dialogue, according to Catholic University of America professor Sidney Griffith.

“Professor Griffith talked about the Christian-Muslim relations in the early times of Islam and made connections to today’s world,” said IDO President Mehmet Saracoglu. “I believe that his ideas gave us some insight on how to communicate in a different society, using some historical examples.”

Griffith, a CUA professor and chairman of the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages in Washington, D.C., has published extensively on the history of Muslim-Christian relations, particularly in early Islamic times.

His latest book, The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque, examines Christian responses to Islam in the first centuries under Muslim rule. “He specifically discusses the Christians and Muslims engaging in dialogue in the Muslim world at that time,” said Saracoglu.