Jay Phillips Center’s international conference March 4-5

Academics Campus & Community Faith & Spirituality

February 22, 2021

A familiar face will be presenting remotely to the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University community, thanks to the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning at Saint John’s University.

President Emerita Mary Dana Hinton, Ph.D., who led CSB from 2014 through June 2020, will be a speaker at “Religion, Education and Peace,” the Jay Phillips Center’s third international conference March 4-5. The conference is sponsored and organized jointly with Haigazian University of Beirut, Lebanon.

Conference sessions are from 8-11 a.m. (CST) each day (4-7 p.m. in Beirut). Registration for the online webinar conference, which is limited to 100 people, may be made by sending an email

The CSB/SJU Peace Studies Department is a co-sponsor of the conference.

Hinton’s address, scheduled for 8:15 a.m. Thursday, March 4, is titled “Religion in the U.S. Public Square: a Source of Peace or Protest?” Hinton is now president of Hollins University in Virginia.

Also speaking will be Jon Armajani, CSB/SJU professor of peace studies whose presentation is set for 8 a.m. Friday, March 5, and is titled “Circles of Understanding and Restorative Justice: Muslims, Christians and Beyond.”

Paul Haidostian, president of Haigazian University, and John Merkle, CSB/SJU professor of theology and director of the Jay Phillips Center, will give opening remarks at 8 a.m. March 4 and closing remarks at 10:45 a.m. March 5.

The conference will feature speakers from the United States, Lebanon, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Myanmar and The Netherlands. The complete schedule of presentations may be accessed on the Jay Phillips Center’s conference webpage.

“This conference continues the collaborative relationship between Haigazian University and the Jay Phillips Center that began in 2014 when Paul Haidostian delivered a lecture here about religious diversity in the Middle East, which was sponsored by our center,” Merkle said.

“We then jointly organized and sponsored a 2016 conference in Beirut on the topic of interreligious and intercultural relations,” Merkle added. “And in collaboration with our Peace Studies Department, in 2018 we hosted the 31st Annual CSB/SJU Peace Studies Conference with speakers from Haigazian and CSB/SJU.”

“This conference is yet another opportunity for fruitful collaboration between the Jay Phillips Center and Haigazian University as we together tackle critical issues related to our distinctive but overlapping missions,” Merkle said.

The conference was scheduled to be held in May 2020 at Haigazian, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was rescheduled to take place there on March 4-5, but will now be held via webinar facilitated by Haigazian.

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President Emerita Mary Dana Hinton, Ph.D.