Stephanie Varnon-Hughes is a Founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Inter-Religious Studies™ . She completed her Master’s in Church History in 2008 and her STM in 2009 at the Union Theological Seminary. She is completing her doctoral studies at Claremont Lincoln University, focusing on inter-religious curriculum and engagement.
“I’m inspired by the Hizmet Movement. I didn’t realize that until I came in contact with the Movement, but all of my life, education and service and dialog have been transformative to me. … This is the work that all of our hearts should be doing. So it remains a source of inspiration for me in my work.”
“One of the things that always strikes me about Mr. Gülen is his appreciation for poetry … And I just think it’s another fruit that someone who does so much for education and service also wants to nourish the souls of people; not just give them a desk, not just give them books, not just give them aid, but make sure that the imagination and the soul are not luxury items. They’re for each person.”
“There is a verse, I believe in the Koran, that God made us many nations and people so that we might get to know one another. … If we only study ourselves, and we only study the small world around us, our knowledge will never be enriched. But if we get to know one another, and get to know more about science, and more about the world, and more about other things, our knowledge is enriched.”
“I think that all of us—if you think about a tree with roots and the nutrients that come from the soil—all of us are more enriched when we have access to wisdom from different traditions. And that’s our work here, and it’s clearly the work of Mr. Gülen and the Movement.”