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Growing need for Christian-Muslim relations

Sister Cheryl Camp RSM (Townsville), who worked in Pakistan for seven years, is a member of the Institute’s Pakistan Pastoral Planning Transition Group and is studying for the Graduate Certificate in Arts (Islamic Studies) at the University of Melbourne. Cheryl hopes to be involved in this developing area of ministry and to network with other Sisters of Mercy working in Christian-Muslim relations.

Quoting from the University’s handbook, Cheryl says the course provides a “coherent program of study in Islamic studies, and provides a good introduction to the discipline.”

Cheryl completed two units in 2007. “Understanding the Muslim World” covered the origins of Islam, the values, beliefs, practices and cultural rituals which have shaped Muslim societies, the unity and diversity in the Muslim world and images of Muslim societies prevalent in the West (University of Melbourne Handbook).

“Islam and Human Rights” examined Islamic ideas about human rights and the engagement of Muslims in the debate as theoreticians, lawyers and victims on the need for an Islamic system of human rights. A discourse has developed drawing on ideas unique to Islam expressed in the Qur’an and other religious sources, and on other concepts founded in the universalising ideas of modern international law (University of Melbourne Handbook).

Cheryl was pleased to receive first class honours in both subjects. In 2008, she will study “Great Texts of Islam: Qur’an and Hadith” and “The History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict”  to complete the Certificate.

Cheryl says that this study has led to her involvement in interfaith conferences and activities in Victoria, including the Australian Catholic University’s Melbourne launch of the Fethullah Gulen Chair in The Study of Islam and Muslim-Catholic Relations.

With the rise of many serious issues around the world involving relations between Muslims and non Muslims, Cheryl believes there is a growing need for interfaith relations between Christians and Muslims. She hopes to be involved in this developing area of ministry and to network with other Sisters of Mercy working in Christian-Muslim relations.

Cheryl Camp RSM can be contacted via email cherycamp@gmail.com