Friendship as a Worldview: An Interfaith Perspective

Presenting will be Mohammad Jafar Amir Mahallati, Presidential Scholar in Islamic Studies at the Religion Department of Oberlin College. He received his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from McGill University, after completing the Harvard Fellowship for Persian Studies in 2005-06. Mahallati has taught graduate courses and lectured at Columbia, Princeton, Yale, and Georgetown Universities. He has served as senior scholar and affiliate with several academic and religious institutions focused on international relations, including the Middle East Institute, the Center for Strategic and International Affairs, and Search for Common Ground. After his studies in Islamic Theology at Khan Seminary (Shiraz, Iran) and receiving a BA in Economics from National University (Tehran), Mahallati completed a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Kansas and an MS in Political Economy from the University of Oregon. He served as Chair of the Economic Department at Kerman University (1980), Director General for Economic and International Affairs in Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1981-1987), and as Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations (1987-1989). As Ambassador, he was successful in bringing an end to the devastating eight-year Iran-Iraq War. Dr. Mahallati achieved his multidisciplinary and multicultural peace-building experience through works at the United Nations in the field of Conflict Resolution for a decade, teaching International Relations for another decade, as well as ten years of teaching Islamic Studies at Oberlin College. Following his keynote, a roundtable/panel discussion moderated by Pastor Laurie will be held with representatives from the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faith communities. All are welcome.