Religious Pluralism in A.R.E.

Submitted by Tris Junkins

Tris Junkins

Tris Junkins
(Adult RE Committee Chair)

Last Sunday, July 7 in A.R.E. we had Dr. Timani from CNU speak about his research on Religious Pluralism. He founded a group that has interfaith discussions with religious clergy & scholars to promote understanding & acceptance.

It meets the 1st Sunday of the month at 3 pm. For the summer it meets at the Panera Bread near CNU.

Scriptural Reasoning (SR) is the communal practice of reading sacred scriptures, in small groups, together. Normally the passages of scripture chosen are Jewish, Christian and Muslim and are linked together by a particular issue, theme, story or image. When read together in this way, participants – or “reasoners” – have found that astonishing, powerful and, at times, quite surprising, new conversations and relationships may open up.

Although this practice has its origin in a University setting, and is generating considerable theoretical interest, it is also now becoming a “civic practice” whereby people of different faiths (currently still mainly Jews, Christians and Muslims), engage with their holy scripture and with each other as neighbors and fellow citizens. It is proving transformative, though not always easy.

SR is text study between Christians, Muslims and Jews. It is a practice whereby members of these faiths, in small groups, study together their own and each other’s sacred scriptures. The space created by the three faiths in study together is often likened to the Biblical ‘Tent of Meeting’. Groups vary in size, but between eight and twelve is a good number. Some SR sessions
take place over several days, but groups also meet for about two hours. Each session normally has a ‘convenor’ and three ‘presenters’ who introduce the three different sacred texts. The role of the ‘presenter’ is to open up the portion of scripture for discussion.

Before it is presented and then explored by the group, the chosen passage is normally read out loud in English. The presentation is not meant to be a definitive statement on the text, but rather simply an opening gambit. Once presented, the passage of scripture is then discussed by everyone in the group.
(excerpt from:

Dr. Hussam S. Timani

Dr. Hussam S. Timani

The SR group meets every first Sunday of each month from 3:00pm to 4:30pm. If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Hussam S. Timani at


About Brad Garbus

Learn More about me at:
This entry was posted in Adult Religious Education and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.