James Puglisi is the Associate Director of Campus Ministry at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. He holds Masters of Arts in Higher Education and also in Applied Theology. He received his Doctor of Ministry from Catholic Theological Union in the area of Practical Theology. He is a member of the Austin Advisory Board for the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest, he teaches courses in the area of migration and culture.

“I’m most amazed sometimes at the diversity of the people that have been able to come together at various Dialogue Institute events, bringing in politicians, people from the religious community, people from the educational community, from the business community all into the same space to enjoy discussions, learn about interfaith dialogue, learn about various religious traditions, whether it’s Judaism, Christianity, Islam. So, the ability to bring such a diverse group of people together is not the easiest thing to do sometimes. I’ve been very amazed at the movement that’s been able to accomplish that.”

“My knowledge of Islam through the Gulen Movement has greatly increased, particularly understanding its desire for dialogue, its desire to interact with all people. It’s a very embracing, very hospitable religious tradition, which is not always what we hear in the media in the United States.”

“We have to talk with people who believe a little bit differently than us, think a little bit differently than us. It helps us to grow; helps us to grow individually, as a people, and helps that we’re in dialogue to grow as well.”

“I think the use of education within the Hizmet Movement to strengthen their community is a very important thing and I think the ability to create environments where students can advance intellectually but also have the mentoring of values, not necessarily teaching certain things but just having role models of people that live good lives, that have a positive influence on how people would live. I think that’s an important way to educate.”

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