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Introducing Nevin Reda and new collaborators

January 28, 2010
I have been busy this month bringing a group of Toronto participants into the process of collaboration. Following the Canadian launch of Forensic Scriptures there in October the folks from two Toronto synagogues, two churches, a college and a mosque organized six follow-up sessions with me on Sunday afternoons. They meet jointly at their various locations and I drive in from Niagara Falls to share the leadership with the rabbis, ministers, imam and professor.

It is a group that has included 55 participants so far, though six have discovered that it is not for them. The rest are theological students and several professors, clergy and amazing lay members, the latter including an engaging assortment of media personalities, educators and others. If snowy roads allow me to join them in February, they will then be invited to join our online community, since many of them now wish to discuss Three Testaments and appear ready and able to do so.

Conversations continue with publishers as to who should take the lead role, and material filters back to me be email after each “blog alert,” but folks still seem hesitant to put their opinions online. Either with permission or anonymously, I will attempt to share some of the help I am getting in some future blogs. Perhaps the newer participants will include some who are more bold themselves. Toronto is almost a hotbed of discussion of related matters.

Some of you may be interested to know that in the absence of a Muslim University to date in Canada, Emmanuel College, the United Church seminary that grants degrees through the University of Toronto, has established a Certificate program in Muslim Studies which may lead to the granting of degrees to Imams and female chaplains in public institutions (prisons, hospitals, universities) who cannot otherwise meet requirements for public service salaries. This program is initally administered by Nevin Reda, who will also teach. You will see her name again, since on the eve of the attainment of her Ph.D, Laleh Bakhtiar has wisely nominated this brilliant text scholar to do the Introduction to the Quran in Three Testaments in tandem with Dr. Bakhtiar's own preface to Part Three of the book.
Posted by: Brian Arthur Brown