The Parliament Blog

U.S. Students Build Connections through Interfaith Pilgrimage to Israel/Palestine

by Cheryl Walker
from Wake Forest University

The group of 13 divinity school and undergraduate students and their leaders—School of Divinity Professor Neal Walls and Associate Chaplain for Muslim Life Khalid Griggs—gathered at a spot overlooking the Sea of Galilee during the University’s winter break.

“All at once we were connected to an ancient tradition of looking upon the hills and mountains of Israel and giving thanks to God,” Stillerman wrote in the blog chronicling the journey to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Masada and other places of religious and historical significance in the region.

Participants discussed the trip at a public presentation on campus Jan. 26. The two-week experience was the beginning of a semester-long class devoted to the history and religious traditions of Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities.

Sophomore Avalon French, a religion major and co-president of the University’s Interfaith Council, was among the undergraduates who traveled on the Interfaith Pilgrimage.

“With Professor Walls and Imam Griggs, we would visit one place, like the Temple Mount, and get two different perspectives,” French said. “It opened our minds to different points of view and helped us understand the value of interfaith dialogue.”

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