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Dr. Eboo Patel gives commencement address at Claremont Lincoln

June 3rd, 2013

Dr. Eboo Patel gives commencement address at Claremont Lincoln


Global Expert Dr. Eboo Patel received an honorary degree and delivered the commencement address at Claremont Lincoln University on May 21st.

In his address “On the Vanguard: A Celebration of Interfaith Leadership,” Patel called on the graduates to consider that interfaith leadership requires diversity in agenda and politics, not just diversity in national origin and faith.

“I do not think the primary task of interfaith work is to circle religiously diverse wagons more tightly around particular political positions, however strongly I might hold some of those positions. I do not believe it is the primary purpose of interfaith cooperation to widen what are already deep and dangerous divides.

The central problem interfaith work seeks to solve is this: how are all of us, with our differences, to share a nation and a world together? The central task of an interfaith leader, in my view, is to help build relationships between people with profoundly different views of what is fundamental and what is just. How else do you have a diverse democracy unless people who have deep disagreements on some issues are able to work together on other issues?

Interfaith leaders ensure that Muslim and Jewish doctors who have different views on the Middle East continue operating on patients together in American hospitals. Interfaith leaders ensure conservative Catholic and progressive Protestant pre-school teachers who disagree on abortion continue educating their students together. Interfaith leaders ensure anti-Iraq War Sunnis and pro-Iraq War Kurds can send their kids to the same Little League baseball camps. There are not enough people doing this work.”


Read Dr. Patel’s speech in its entirety

Read an article on Dr. Patel and the address in the National Catholic Reporter

View Dr. Patel’s Global Expert profile



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