2017 Colloquium — Prophets and Mystics: Ancient Light for Today’s World
The New Mexico Interfaith Dialogue holds an annual Colloquium in the spring, offering a full day of knowledgeable speakers providing though-provoking presentations on religious topics and discussion among audience participants.
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The questions we considered at the 2017 Colloquium:
- What is the difference between a mystic and a prophet?
- How are they similar or different within each faith tradition?
- What guidance from Jewish, Christian and Muslim prophets and mystics pertain to today’s pressing issues?
These three featured speakers brought illuminating insights from Jewish, Christian and Muslim prophets and mystics.
Rabbi Paul J. Citrin was ordained by the Hebrew Union College in 1973. He was graduated from U.C.L.A with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1968. The focus of his rabbinate has always been in congregational life. His passions are education, Israel and social justice.
He is the author of a children’s novel, Joseph’s Wardrobe, a co-author of Gates of Repentance for Young People, Ten Sheaves, A collection of Sermons, Addresses and Articles, and of Lights in the Forest: Rabbis Respond to Twelve Essential Jewish Questions. He is married to Susan Morrison Citrin. They have four children and eight grandchildren.
Rabbi Citrin was co-founder of the Jewish-Catholic Dialogue, now known as the New Mexico Interfaith Dialogue. He was the rabbi of Congregation Albert in Albuquerque from 1978 to 1996, and he is currently serving as the rabbi of the Taos Jewish Center.
Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard’s teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplation and self-emptying, expressing itself in radical compassion, particularly for the socially marginalized.
Fr. Richard is the author of numerous books, including The Divine Dance, Everything Belongs, The Naked Now, Breathing Under Water, Falling Upward, Immortal Diamond, and Eager to Love.
Fr. Richard is academic Dean of the Living School for Action and Contemplation. Drawing upon Christianity’s place within the Perennial Tradition, the mission of the Living School is to produce compassionate and powerfully learned individuals who will work for positive change in the world based on awareness of our common union with God and all beings. Visit cac.org for more information.
Imam Taha Hassane is currently serving as the Imam/Director of the Islamic Center of San Diego (ICSD). He joined ICSD in September 2004 from the Colorado Muslim Youth Foundation where he served as a youth instructor.
Imam Taha graduated from Institute of Islamic Sciences at the University of Algiers, Algeria, and served as a high school teacher and Imam in Tenes, Algeria for ten years before coming to the United States. He also holds a Master degree of theology in Islamic studies from the Graduate Theological Foundation ion South Bend, Indiana.
Imam Taha is also religious adviser of the Muslim Students Association at UCSD, a board member of the Interfaith Worker Justice, based in Chicago, IL, a member of the west coast Muslim-Catholic dialogue, a member of the advisory Board of the San Diego Police Department and the Interfaith Advisory Board of the San Diego District Attorney, and a volunteer chaplain at San Diego prisons & hospitals.
Jennifer Wilson is a lay scholar of world religions and a writer. She is a member of the Baha’i community of Rio Rancho, and will offer insights from the Baha’i Faith on the Prophets and the Mystics.
Moderator: Swami Omkarananda arrived in Albuquerque in 2016 to be director of Trinity House, a Catholic Worker house of hospitality for the homeless in South Valley. Their website is www.TrinityHouseCW.org.
As a swami, she is a renunciate in the yoga tradition with nearly 30 years of experience in Yoga and meditation. She was director of the Sivananda Yoga Center in Los Angeles for 9 years and was assistant director at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, California for many years.
Originally from Australia, where she obtained her medical qualification, she worked as a psychiatrist in England for many years. She has been an active participant in interfaith dialogue gatherings in Los Angeles and was recently ordained as a minister at One Spirit Interfaith Seminary. Her passion is to bring faith groups together to collaborate in projects that build community. She teaches Yoga philosophy (especially Bhagavad Gita), Vedanta, Yoga and Ecology and how to deal with emotions and mind in times of transition.