From its very beginning, a key aim of the unique professional doctorate in interfaith studies programme at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David has been to forge scholar-practitioners who adroitly blend professional expertise in interreligious dialogue, mediation and peacebuilding along with developing excellent research competencies in their various sub-specializations. And indeed, it was a busy summer for a number of UWTSD professional doctorate in interfaith studies students.
Britt Bakker who is now in part two of her programme conducting research on interreligious marriages in the Netherlands was at 10th World Assembly of Religions for Peace in Lindau, Germany from 19 to 23 August 2019 where about 900 senior religious leaders, youth and women of faith from over 100 countries joined by 100 representatives of governments, intergovernmental organizations, and civil society groups came together to create mutual trust and decide on concrete future projects, as well as forging multi-stakeholder partnerships for the common good.
Britt was there as a voting delegate for the Religions for Peace Netherlands along with two Dutch colleagues and as a part of the Women of Faith network.
It was equally a hands-full summer for Sneha Roy who is also in part two of her professional doctorate programme and is now preparing for her fieldwork in Myanmar where she would be seeking to understand the role of female religious leaders in conflict zones. Sneha was a facilitator at the Young Leaders Programme and International Conference on Cohesive Societies which held in Singapore before going on to teach at two youth summer schools. One organised by Baku Multicultural Centre, Azerbaijan and the other by the Yunus Emre Institute, Turkey.
It was a really memorable time for Sian Dawson as she had opportunity to be part of a re-enactment of the historic meeting between St Francis of Assisi and Sultan Sheikh Malik al-Kamil which took place in 1219 during the Fifth Crusade. The re-enactment, which held at Dar ul-Isra Mosque in Cardiff on 24th September 2019, was part of a friendship dinner organised by Third Order Anglican Franciscans. Sian, who is also a member of the Order and whose dissertation explores themes of interfaith dialogue and hospitality through the lens of that significant encounter between the ‘Sultan and the Saint’ particularly felt privileged to have been part of the well-attended event.