Vanderhaar Symposium: “Peacemakers: Jewish, Christian and Muslim”

Reverend Patrick J. Ryan, S.J.Memphis – Reverend Patrick J. Ryan, S.J., keynote speaker at the sixth annual Dr. Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium, will present “Peacemakers: Jewish, Christian and Muslim”
Thursday, February 10, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the Christian Brothers University (CBU) University Theater. The Symposium will focus on the struggle for peace among nations through dialogue between religious faiths.

Author of three books and numerous articles, Father Ryan is the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Culture at Fordham University. A Jesuit and native of New York City, Father Ryan has held his current position at Fordham since 2009. Previously, he served as Fordham’s Vice President for University Mission and Ministry (2005-2009).  In 1964, he began a long career as a teacher and academic administrator in West Africa, where he has spent 26 years. After ordination in 1968, Father Ryan completed a doctorate at Harvard University in the comparative history of religion, specializing in Arabic and Islamic studies. For 15 years, he taught in this area in Ghanaian universities, and for briefer periods at Fordham and at the Gregorian University in Rome. From 1999-2005, Father Ryan was the first President of Loyola Jesuit College, a high school in Nigeria’s federal capital, Abuja.

Upon assuming his post at Fordham, Father Ryan’s work has focused on fostering dialogue between and among Jewish, Islamic and Christian scholars.  His presentation promises to be an enlightening look at the struggle for peace invoking the wisdom of historical figures from the three traditions. 

A Mid-South university student will also be honored with the Dr. Gerard A. Vanderhaar Student Peace Award. Annually, this award is given to a student who best exemplifies the spirit and practice of nonviolence consistent with Dr. Vanderhaar’s life and work.  The recipient will make a brief presentation of his/her work prior to the lecture.

The Vanderhaar Symposium was founded in honor of Dr. Gerard A. Vanderhaar, a  professor of religion for 28 years at CBU, who spent his lifetime promoting peace and active nonviolence.  Each year, the Symposium invites a noted scholar and/or activist to the CBU campus to address a social and moral issue related to peace and justice and/or Catholic social teaching.   

The Symposium is free and open to the public.  Parking is available in the CBU Central Avenue lot at no cost.  For more information, visit  ###

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