The invitation to contribute to the Noli Me Tangere project arrived while I was sitting in on a course taught by my colleagues Dr. Zeyneb Sayilgan and Dr. Benjamin Sax entitled “Jesus at the Borders of Islam and Judaism” at the Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies (ICJS) in Baltimore, Maryland where I am currently serving as the Executive Director. The ICJS is an independent, academic non-profit that seeks to advance interreligious dialogue and understanding through educational lectures and programs for the public; fellowships for congregational leaders, civic leaders, teachers, and clergy; and rigorous scholarship. The ICJS reaches a diverse cross-section of the Baltimore-Washington area in our efforts to confront antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of religious prejudice. By constructively engaging with religious pluralism in education, outreach, and scholarship we are shaping a new relationship among Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Baltimore area, and modeling a new conversation that affirms and values religious diversity in America.
Heather Miller Rubens is Executive Director and Roman Catholic Scholar at ICJS.