Faiths of Abraham panel promotes religious diversity


Rabbi Jean Eglington, second from left, professor Larry Bailey and professor Majed Khader join Marshall University students for a religious studies panel Wednesday in the basement of the Memorial Student Center.

The Marshall University Religious Studies Society presented Faiths of Abraham Wednesday in the Memorial Student Center.

The event was constructed to expand students’ knowledge of Abrahamic faiths.

The three major Abrahamic faiths are Islam, Judaism and Christianity. The panel is primarily a venue for representatives to answer questions about their faiths.

The panel started with each panelist introducing their faith. After introductions, students asked questions

The questions related to women rights, views on other religions’ prophets and the effects of Internet and social media in each religion.

Members of the panel included Rabbi Jean Eglington of B’nai Shalom and professor of The Jewish Way of Life, Majed Khader, professor of The World of Islam and Larry Baily,

Methodist preacher and professor of Literature of the Old Testament and Literature of the New Testament.

Directors and panelist made it clear they represented a branch of their respective faiths and not the entire faith.

“I enjoyed hearing Rabbi Jean speak about Jewish texts and how all the religious have eventually evolved to greater human kind,” said Daniel Sellitti, junior at Marshall. “I can just see that increasing.”

President of the Religious Studies Society Aaron Dunn said the goal is to inform students of faiths that may or may not be their own and to foster and promote infer-faith dialogue on campus.

The panelists were given time to explain  their backgrounds and how they came to their faiths.

Khader said people have a negative view of Islam, but Islam has the same principles and foundations as Christianity and Judaism.

“Media contributes to a negative view of the Islamic religion,” Khader said. “It’s not a new faith. Islam has been around over 1,400 years.”

Students were given a chance to understand different religions more in depth.

“I was unaware of how much equality Islam religion had between women and men,” Sellitti said. “I didn’t realize it was more cultural reasons that affected women’s rights.”

Hannah Harman can be contacted at [email protected]