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The Walter and Mary Tuohy Chair of Interreligious Studies was founded by Mr. Walter Tuohy, former vice-chairman and chief executive of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. He was a dedicated Catholic layman, an active member of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and a zealous promoter of religious understanding.

Under the auspices of the Tuohy Chair, the University offers a series of courses and free public lectures on interreligious topics. This program is designed to bring scholars of major religious traditions to campus for dialogue with students, faculty, religious leaders, and the general public.

“Religion, Nationalism, And Political Repression” 2017-18 Lecture Series:

The Situation of Christians In The Arab World: How Interreligious Dialogue Can Help (October 18, 2018) by Archbishop Michael Louis Fitzgerald, M.Afr., SThD.

Women of the Wall: Freedom to Worship at the Kotel (September 13, 2018) by Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, PhD, National Director of Recruitment and Admissions and Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought and Ethics, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Ürümqi Unraveled: “Desettlement,” Development, Islamophobia, and Uyghur Responses

Since the 2009 Ürümqi riots, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed comprehensive measures intended to weaken the intense bonds between the Uyghurs and the sacred oases of present-day Xinjiang, to which this Turkic Muslim ethno-national group claims indigeneity. Recent public works projects, education reform, and restrictions on religious practice in the region seek to reorient the Uyghurs away from the Islamic umma and towards Beijing.

Drawing on extensive research conducted in Ürümqi between 2010-2017, this talk describes the CCP’s strategies to “desettle” the Uyghurs (Dautcher 2007) in their “homeland” and “resettle” them within the “Chinese Nation,” a state-imagined identity that claims historical, racial, and geographical ties between the Han majority and China’s fifty-five ethnic minority groups, with a specific focus on religious policy.

The talk will demonstrate that heavy-handed crackdowns on Islamic practice (e.g. restrictions on mosque attendance, prohibitions on religious dress, and bans on “overtly” Islamic names) undermine CCP efforts to promote genuine ethnic unity.

Timothy A, Grose, PhD, Assistant Professor of China Studies, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Thursday, March 15, 2018
John Carroll University Dolan Science Center
Donohue Auditorium, 7:30–9:00 p.m.
This lecture is free and open to the public.

Dynamics of religion, nationalism, and political repression raise concerns for people around the world. For Americans, the Turkish experience resonates with situations much closer to home.

Join the conversation about “Turkey: What Went Wrong and What’s Next?” to hear more about these
contemporary challenges and discuss what each of us can do to help remedy such situations.

Sevgi Akarçeşme, MA, Turkish journalist & political analyst, and
Scott Alexander, PhD, Associate Professor at Catholic Theological Union

Thursday, February 15, 2018
John Carroll University Dolan Science Center
Donohue Auditorium, 7:30–9:00 p.m.
This lecture is free and open to the public.