Lourdes University Theological Studies Department presents
Fall Colloquium: Francis and the Sultan Lecture & Film
Saturday, October 26, 2013 1–4 p.m.
Christians and Muslims gathered on Saturday October 26, 2013 for an engaging and evocative afternoon of prayer, reflection, and conversation. Sister Kathleen Warren, O.S.F. a Sister of St. Francis of Rochester, MN was the presenter for the Theological Studies Department’s Annual Theological Colloquium. Sister Kathleen invited participants to “take a test” on their knowledge of Christianity and Islam as a starting point for discussion. Many in the audience became aware of the need to better understand the beliefs and practices of the other. Prayerful reflection set the context for the day. Sister Kathleen shared the importance of open and reverent conversation between Catholics and Muslims. In order to demonstrate the significance of such an attitude, she used her film In the Footprints of Francis and the Sultan as a lens for examining our contemporary approach to peaceful and meaningful dialogue. In 1219, during the Fifth Crusade, Francis of Assisi journeyed to Damietta Egypt to meet with Sultan Malek al-Kamil, the leader of the Muslim forces. This countercultural encounter stands as a model for us today; it is a pertinent example of the great potential for deep, even momentous interreligious dialogue. The second part of the film considered the icon of Francis and the Sultan written by Brother Robert Lentz, O.F.M. The artist discussed the power of the story and the way he portrayed the encounter in his icon. The audience was able to view firsthand this prayerful icon. The afternoon concluded with a reception and further conversation in the spirit of openness and reverence.