2019 Luce-Hartford Conference in Christian-Muslim Relations

Black Church – Black Mosque: A Shared History in American Society

June 17-18, 2019

We thank everyone who attended the second Luce-Hartford Conference. Videos and coverage of the conference can be found at this link.

African Americans have a unique story in the United States. All other non-indigenous communities came to the New World willingly to seek a better life, to escape an old life, or to purchase their way forward through indentured servitude. African slaves, however, were abducted and enslaved, being brought to America against their will. African Americans carry with them this history of injustice, while carving their own way through ongoing inequality, discrimination, and opportunity. This is a truly American experience and story.

Those graduate students who would like to further explore these issues for credit can also enroll in the course Black Church – Black Mosque: Christian-Muslim Dialogue for Public Engagement, June 17-21, 2019. There are a limited number of scholarships available for this course.

For more information, contact Professor Benjamin Watts at bwatts@hartsem.edu

Relations between African American Christians and Muslims is also an interreligious relationship unlike any other. As Lewis V. Baldwin has stated, African Americans all share “a set of core values — freedom, education, economic justice, race pride, and self-determination.”[1] The relationship has often been highlighted by the brief meeting of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. However, contemporary relationships are based and enacted in ways much more nuanced, complicated, and intertwined than normally recognized. Throughout vary different contexts throughout the United States, African American Muslim and Christian communities and families are intertwined in unique ways and provide a distinct story to contemporary American society and culture.

The 2019 Luce-Hartford conference is intended to provide an opportunity for academic theologians and religious practitioners to reflect on and discuss the distinctive perspectives of American interreligious relationships, racism, justice, and faith; and to provide opportunities for professional and non-professional Christian and Muslim religious leaders to engage with each other as communities of moral deliberation for the common good.

The conference will address:

  • The role of religion in the history of African Americans
  • The impact of racism on African American Christian and Muslim relationships.
  • Opportunities for interfaith networking

The 2019 Luce-Hartford Conference on Christian-Muslim Relations will address the topic of “Black Church – Black Mosque.” The conference will be a forum for Black Muslim and Christian scholars and religious leaders to explore the reality of race and racism that impacts Black Christian-Muslim relationships. In addition to several keynote presentations and panel discussions, participants of the conference will be encouraged to explore opportunities for engagement in local communities to address the issues of race and racism from an interfaith perspective.

[1] Lewis V. Baldwin, ‘Out of the Dark Past,’ in Between Cross and Crescent: Christian and Muslim Perspectives on Malcolm and Martin, eds. Lewis V. Baldwin and Amiri YaSin Al-Hadid (Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press, 2002), 23.


Conference Schedule


Nearby hotel

Red Lion Hotel  (formally the Radisson), 50 Morgan St., Hartford, 860-549-2400. Use rate code HRTSEM when making reservation (or state that you are with Hartford Seminary).

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