Muslim refugee history to be discussed amid global immigration debate

Islamic theology professor Zeyneb Sayilgan to speak at the Dawe Lecture at Union Seminary

RICHMOND, VA (March 7, 2018) — Zeyneb Sayilgan, visiting professor of Islamic theology and religious pluralism at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, will keynote the Dawe Lecture at Union Presbyterian Seminary March 22 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The lecture, “The First Muslim Refugees in the Christian Kingdom of Abyssinia: Implications for Christian-Muslim Relations Today,” will take place in Lake Chapel at the Early Center, 1106 Westwood Avenue, in Richmond, Virginia. It is free and open to the public.

The Migration to Abyssinia, present-day Ethiopia and Eritrea, in the year 613 was an episode in early Islamic history where the first Muslims fled from prosecution and sought refuge in the Christian kingdom of Abyssinia. In her presentation, Dr. Sayilgan will reflect on how this historical encounter can inform Christian-Muslim relations today in constructive ways, guiding people of faith in the current debate on immigration.

Union Presbyterian Seminary’s annual Dawe Lecture series promotes ethical and religious understanding. It pays tribute to Dr. Donald and Mrs. Nancy Dawe and is funded through The Donald and Nancy Dawe Fund for Emotional and Ethical Growth. Dr. Dawe was professor emeritus of Union Presbyterian Seminary until his death in 2012.