The Lumen Christi Institute and the American Cusanus Society


Catholics & Muslims: History, Theology, Encounters 


The 1965 Vatican II document Nostra Aetate 3 encouraged Catholics and Muslims to “forget the past” and focus on a more positive future together, one based on dialogue and cooperation. Since then, Catholics at all levels, from popes to parishioners, have heeded this call. However, the complicated, centuries-long history of Christian-Muslim relations demands attention. Instead of “forgetting the past,” Catholics need to revisit this history, both on their own and with their Muslim partners. In this series, we will examine Nicholas of Cusa’s approach to the Qur’an; the history of Mary as a bridge or barrier in Christian relations with Muslims; and St. Francis and Pope Francis as models of fraternal encounter.  

This series is organized and copresented by the Lumen Christi Institute and the American Cusanus Society, and is cosponsored by the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute, the Australian Catholic University, the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies, St. Paul's Catholic Center, the Nova Forum for Catholic Thought, the Saint Benedict Institute, the Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage, and both the Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies and the Encountering Islam Initiative at the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota).

(register through the event links):


July 21, 6:00 p.m. CDT 

Nicholas of Cusa & Qur’anic Exegesis 
Dr. Wilhelmus (Pim) Valkenberg (Catholic University of America)



August 18, 6:00 p.m. CDT 

Mary & Muslims: Bridge or Barrier? 
Dr. Rita George-Tvrtkovic (Benedictine University)

Respondent: Dr. Zeki Saritoprak (John Carroll University)


September 8, 6:00 p.m. CDT

Francis & Francis: Encountering Muslims, Past & Present
Dr. Jason Welle, OFM (Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies, Rome)