The Catholic University of America

Oct. 20, 2009

CUA Professor Wins Award for Contributions to Muslim/Christian Dialogue

Rev. Sidney H. Griffith

Rev. Sidney H. Griffith, professor and chair of CUA's Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages, will receive a Rumi Peace Award, which goes to individuals and organizations who have greatly contributed their time, energy, leadership and dedication to the cause of dialogue, peace, community service and understanding.

Father Griffith will receive the award, to be presented by the Washington, D.C.-based Rumi Forum, at an Oct. 27 dinner honoring him and five other awardees. Speakers at the dinner will include members of the U.S. Congress.

Father Griffith publishes extensively on the history of the Christian communities living in Islamic lands and on the history of Muslim/Christian relations, especially in the early Islamic period and especially within Islamic lands, usually in reference to texts written in Syriac and Arabic.

His 2008 book, The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque: Muslims and Christians in the World of Islam (Princeton University Press) won the 2009 Albert C. Outler Prize for the best book on ecumenical church history from the American Society of Church History.

Professor Griffith often lectures on these topics in the United States and abroad. "I am also involved in a number of Muslim/Christian dialogues," he says, "one under the auspices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and another conducted until very recently by the Rumi Forum."

The Rumi Forum was founded in 1999 with the mission of fostering interfaith and intercultural dialogue and to provide a platform for education and information exchange, especially between Muslims and Christians. The forum takes its name from the 13th-century Sufi philosopher-poet Mawlana Jalaladdin Rumi.

MEDIA: For more information, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy in The Catholic University of America's Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.