Scholar and peacemaker Najeeba Syeed will present a lecture titled “The Death of Civility: On the Birth of Dignity-Based Interfaith Ritual and Practices” at 7 p.m. April 4 in the Alford Centrum at MTSO, 3081 Columbus Pike in Delaware. Her presentation is the 15th annual Lecture on World Religions and Interreligious Relations, sponsored by the Theological Consortium of Greater Columbus. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Syeed is associate professor of interreligious education at Claremont School of Theology and director of Claremont’s Center for Global Peacebuilding. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree from Guilford College, which presented her with its Young Alumni Achievement Award in 2012.
“My topic for this talk comes out of interfaith organizing and rituals that developed in the streets of Los Angeles in response to various forms of state violence such as targeted deportations and restriction of women’s rights,” Syeed said. “I will outline the use of civility, which has been weaponized in history against minoritized communities to produce silence. The lecture will cover this history and the future of interfaith rituals, liturgies, organizations and collaborative groups that use nonviolent methods against structural violence and racism.”
A two-time recipient of the Jon Anson Ford Award for reducing violence in schools and in the area of interracial gang conflicts, Syeed also was named Peacemaker of the Year by the Southern California Mediation Association in 2007. Auburn Seminary honored her with the 2017 Walter Wink Scholar Activist Award.
Syeed has chaired national conferences on Muslim and interfaith peacebuilding, served as a mediator in many cases, and started mediation programs in many institutions, including the University of Southern California. She is a blogger for Muslim Voices, Huffington Post and feminist.com.
Methodist Theological School in Ohio provides theological education and leadership in pursuit of a just, sustainable and generative world. In addition to the Master of Divinity degree, the school offers master’s degrees in counseling, social justice, theological studies and practical theology, along with a Doctor of Ministry degree.
Danny Russell, communications director