Two Women, Two Faiths and Lady Mary

Interfaith Dialogues
By Ben Barker
Volunteer for Woman’s Voice and Exchange, Blackburn Cathedral

Shot from the Interfaith meeting.

This dialogue was the first in a series of three dialogues which are being held between Anjum Anwar and Canon Sue Penfold, on the figure of Mary in Christianity and Islam.

The dialogue was held in the South Transept in front of an audience made up of: pupils from Beardwood Humanities College, Muslim scholars from the Muslim Seminary in Blackburn and members of the public.

In this first session both Anjum and Sue spoke about how Mary is seen as a Woman within their faiths and how this affects people at grassroots level.

How do you view the role model of Lady Mary? What does your faith tell about her? Share your story.

Both Women were sensitive to the other’s point of view as they spoke openly and honestly on the topic. It was plain to see that both Women had a deep respect for Mary as a Woman, whether it was the role-model for Muslim women or the more practical woman in Christianity.

What was surprising to see was many people who were not aware that Mary/Mariam plays a vital role in the lives of the Muslims. Just as it was surprising to see that Muslims were not aware that Christians also have many schools of thought on the figure of Mary.

As a Christian, it was a pleasure to learn more about Mary from a Muslim’s perspective. I am sure many of the Muslims who were present would agree.

The second dialogue in the series took place on the 15th March and focuses on Mary as a Mother.

In total 55 people attended the first session.

This piece was first published on Christian Muslim Forum.com. It is republished here with kind permission.
Related Links:
Mary’s Spiritual Journey
Mary in Islam
Mary in the Bible and the Qur'an
What Would Mary Do?

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