Interfaith Engagement in Milwaukee: A Brief History of Christian-Muslim Dialogue

Interfaith Engagement in Milwaukee
A Brief History of Christian-Muslim Dialogue
Edited by Irfan A. Omar & Kaitlyn C. Daly

ISBN 9781626000568

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the fall of 1980, two Franciscan Sisters teamed up with a Muslim professor of a local university to begin a journey of dialogue, friendship, and activism that had a lasting effect on their group and the community. They launched one of the first “Islamic Christian” dialogues in the country, which soon became internationally known. This book brings together their stories of encounter and collaboration alongside those of other interfaith actors. The initial Christian-Muslim dialogue inspired the next generation of leaders to continue the work of building trust and mutual understanding through educational programs and social activism. The narratives presented here are based on qualitative data and scholarly research. They are accompanied by representative examples of the efforts aimed at cultivating spaces for interfaith dialogue and interaction between and among people from different faith traditions and backgrounds. This book offers an overview and history of those interfaith efforts and relationships.

Contributing writers include Sundus Jaber, Judith Longdin, Andrew Musgrave, Janan Atta Najeeb, Caroline Redick and Dianne Rostollan


Edited by

Irfan A. Omar is associate professor of theology at Marquette University in Milwaukee, where he teaches courses in Islamic and interfaith studies as well as a course on religion and nonviolence. He is also an affiliated faculty member with the Center for South Asia at the University of Wisconsin Madison. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Ecumenical Studies and the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion.

Kaitlyn C. Daly graduated from Marquette University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree with double majors in Nursing and Theology & Religion. She became one of the founding members of Marquette’s first Interfaith Coordinating Team (ICT) and interfaith group, Breaking Barriers & Building Bridges (BB&BB). Kaitlyn continues to promote interfaith education and engagement, and explore the intersection of spirituality, theology, and health, as she continues her doctoral studies in Nursing at Duke University.



A chorus of voices have come together in this inaugural book to begin telling the story
of the greater Milwaukee area’s role as a leader in interfaith dialogue, understanding, and relationship building.
—Tom Heinen, Executive Director Emeritus, Interfaith Conference
of Greater Milwaukee

The collection of readings documents intentionality and purpose as it takes the reader
through a journey of Milwaukee’s struggles and successes. . . . It speaks to all ages and institutions. . . . essential reading for those who wish to make a difference.

—Dr. Joan M. Prince, Vice Chancellor and Clinical Associate Professor,
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Interfaith Engagement in Milwaukee offers a compelling case for interfaith collaboration.

—Dr. Swarnjit S. Arora, Sikh Religious Society of Wisconsin, Member of the Board
of Directors, Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee

A well-conceived, well-documented, and well-executed presentation. A thoughtfully
conceived telling . . . of locally based and supported efforts to establish and effectively
sustain practices of interfaith understanding, friendship, and cooperation.

—Rev. Philip Rossi, S.J., Emeritus Professor of Theology, Marquette University,
and Editor, Theological Studies


Marquette University Press

Founded in 1916, the Marquette University Press, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, publishes scholarly works in philosophy, theology, history, and other selected humanities. Read more.