May 20, 2016

Interfaith Dialogue RSO Restarts With New Leader

After a long hiatus, Interfaith Dialogue at the University of Chicago is back, and with a new leader.

The RSO, which seeks to promote dialogue between members of different faiths, had been inactive for close to two years. However, It officially became active again this past Thursday, when it hosted an event called “Why Have Interfaith Dialogue?” At this event, students gathered in the Spiritual Life Common Space in Ida Noyes Hall to discuss issues of interfaith dialogue in practice and plan for the year ahead.

Karl H. Seigfried, a Master’s student at the Divinity School, decided to resurrect the club after a suggestion from Director of Spiritual Life Jigna Shah.

Seigfried hopes that the RSO will allow religious voices to better contribute to the dialogue surrounding campus issues.

“Interfaith dialogue is now more important than ever. The University of Chicago has been attempting to address issues of diversity and the campus climate for members of various minority groups…. This revived organization can provide a platform for voices that have not been heard on campus, and it can bring together people from the rich tapestry of religious traditions represented at the university to really listen to what others have to say,” Seigfried said in an email.

In the future, the RSO hopes to host discussions on religion and spirituality, present guest speakers from various religious traditions, and publish an interfaith journal.

According to Seigfried, for the upcoming fall quarter, the RSO plans to present speakers from the Ásatrú tradition. Ásatrú is the modern iteration of the Norse religion which worships gods and spirits such as Odin, Thor, and Freyja. Seigfried is also currently the contact person on campus for the Ásatrú Student Network and a respected researcher and teacher on Norse mythology.

Students who want to get involved with Interfaith Dialogue should visit its Blueprint page.

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