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2024 ICJS Faculty Seminar

Interreligious Perspectives on Death and Dying

July 15-18, 2024
Baltimore, Maryland

Death and Dying are universal human experiences. Yet, the religious meanings, responses, and rituals concerning the reality of death are diverse. As the religious landscape here in the United States and around the globe is changing, the interreligious study of death and dying requires academic and pastoral attention. To equip those who care for and serve the dying and bereaved, interreligious knowledge, competency, and skills are needed.

The 2024 ICJS Faculty Seminar will bring into conversation scholars, chaplains, and spiritual caretakers for an interreligious study and reflection on the broad area of Death and Dying. Participants will present and facilitate sessions on topics that are related to religious traditions other than their own. They will examine how specific themes engage with their theologies, context, and work. Together we will reflect on how the interreligious lens can expand our specific area. 


Seminar Goals
  1. To deepen the study of death and dying from an interreligious perspective
  2. To share research, pedagogical, and pastoral methods 
  3. To build and sustain an interdisciplinary learning community to collaborate in research, syllabi and pedagogical practices.

The seminar is a venue for thoughtful discussion and an opportunity for networking and sharing resources. 

  • Death Awareness and Death Anxiety
  • Theologies of Death and Dying
  • Theologies of Afterlife
  • Religion and Politics around Euthanasia and Assisted-Dying/Suicide
  • Rituals around Death and Dying
  • Religious Understandings of a Good Death 
  • Bereavement and Grief
Seminar Format

Participants will present and facilitate on a topic that engages with a religious tradition other than their own. They can choose from a list of selected resources or articles/books they have found in their own research and work. Participants will explore how the themes relate to their particular theologies, contexts, work, or communities. Such an interreligious approach will expand and add to our area of research and practice. 

Program Details 

When: Monday, July 15, 2024, 9:00 AM to Thursday, July 18, 2024, 2:00 PM 

Location: ICJS Library, 956 Dulaney Valley Rd., Baltimore MD 21204

ICJS will provide each participant: 

  • Hotel accommodation (Sunday, 7/14 through Wednesday, 7/17) 
  • Travel reimbursement (up to $600)
  • Dinner, Sunday, 7/14 
  • Breakfast and lunch, Monday through Thursday
  • Materials, as needed 


Alisha Wimbush, Th.D.

Program Director for Religious Leaders

Alisha Wimbush has more than 15 years of experience working and providing leadership in nonprofit and congregational settings. She is passionate about building bridges across diverse communities and finding creative ways to foster relationships. She has a B.A. in Social Work from Messiah College and is a graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA, where she earned both her M.Div. and a Th.D. in Pastoral Care and Counseling. Before joining ICJS, Alisha served as an Associate Chaplain at a continuing care retirement community in Pennsylvania.

Zeyneb Sayilgan, Ph.D.

Muslim Scholar

Zeyneb Sayilgan, Ph.D., is the Muslim Scholar at ICJS, where her research centers around Islamic theology and spirituality, Christian-Muslim relations, and the intersection of religion and migration. Her personal experience of growing up in Germany as a child of Kurdish Muslim immigrants from Turkey informs her academic work and engagement in interreligious learning. Zeyneb is an affiliated faculty at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria and also a Fellow Emerita in Peace and Reconciliation at its Center for Anglican Communion Studies. She also taught at The Catholic University of America and The Washington Theological Consortium. She has a Ph.D. in Theological and Religious Studies from Georgetown University, a Master’s degree from Hartford Seminary in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations, and a B.A/M.A. in Islamic Studies and Public Law from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany.