The Catholic University of America

Pim Valkenberg, professor, religion and culture, was quoted in a Public Radio International story on the Mosque-Cathedral at Cordova. See below.

Can two religions coexist in one space?

From: PRI
Date: Oct. 20, 2015
Author: Katie Manning

... Catholic University professor and inter-religious dialog expert Pim Valkenberg says the idea of Muslims and Catholics sharing the Mosque Cathedral, much less praying together, is next to impossible in the current climate.

“Both the Catholics and the Muslims argue on historical grounds that it has been a sacred space for them for a long time,” he says. “I don't think that it will be wise to start a possible dialog or a possible encounter between the two with these historical questions right away, because first, you need to build trust.”

Some Catholics and Muslims in Cordoba are working to do just that. Local high-school science teacher Miguel Santiago grew up just blocks from the Mosque Cathedral. A gold cross hangs from his neck, but despite his religious beliefs, he doesn’t support the Catholic Church’s exclusive policies.

“In an architectural space that is a mix of different arts and cultures, what better way, in a world full of conflict, to show the world that we can all live together,” he says. “These stones are a mirror of the reality of humankind.”

...

> Continue reading.

Read more about Valkenberg's expertise.