Dr. Trudy D. Conway is a professor of Philosophy at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. She teaches courses on intercultural dialog and the situation of women in the Middle East. She has co-authored the book Where Justice and Mercy Meet: Catholic Opposition to the Death Penalty . Dr. Conway holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Fordham University and is actively involved in work to abolish the the death penalty.

” If I had to characterize the Movement, from what I know of it, in a very basic way, I would say it is fundamentally a religiously-inspired philanthropic movement. So at the heart of it is a love of humanity, which is grounded in religious beliefs. And this has led to the development of a number of far-reaching philanthropic ventures.”

” When I was on the Rumi Forum trip in Turkey, I noticed, often, some of the Americans would want to launch into very contentious issues. And the person who was facilitating the conversations always emphasized, “let’s first build trust through identifying our common ground. And then, when we have that trust, then we can move to contentious issues, which we have to discuss. But don’t start with contentious issues.” So I think this is the ethos of the Hizmet Movement, and I think it builds the possibility of bridges between different groups, which is very important in our contentious, contemporary world.”

” And I think no matter how much we have a rhetoric which espouses peace-building, we do not educate young people in schools, and too often in families, in terms of what techniques facilitate peace-building. So you have to have a formation in the virtues, but you also have to become proficient in skills, which enable you to deal with conflict. Resolution of conflict. How to respond to eruption of conflict. And I think the Movement is very attentive to that.”

” We live in a world which is highly globalized, through travels, through media. It’s absolutely impossible to not be involved in interfaith dialog, intercultural dialog. So it’s not a question of whether or not to do it, but whether we are going to become skilled at doing it, and thoughtful in doing it.”