Crossing Boundaries Mobilizing Faith, Diversity, and Dialogue

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Jay Willoughby



On 24-25 October 2008, the thirty-seventh annual conference of the
Association of Muslim Social Scientists of North America (AMSS) was
held at the Harvard Divinity School, thanks to the efforts of the late Dr.
Louis Cantori (an AMSS board member) and the gracious support of Dean
William Graham. Given the expanding role of religion in American foreign
policy and public life, the conference’s seven panels were structured around
finding common ground in a religiously pluralistic world, healing inter-religious
and intra-religious rifts, and using religion to promote (or at least mitigate)
international conflicts.
AliA. Mazrui (Binghamton University, andAMSS President) welcomed
the audience and spoke of how America, the world’s “first and only universal
country,” has not always welcomed non-Anglo/non-Christian immigrants.
He contended that the country might be in the process of accommodating
Islam, as witnessed by the Clinton administration’s hosting of iftar dinners
and the Bush administration’s extension of Ramadan greetings to the Muslim
American community ...

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