Celebration of unity as followers of Abraham

Mohamed Al-Hassany, Jodilee Tangarorang, Aharon Freidland,
Sheikh Muhammad Agherdien, Professor Celia Hammond,
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe and Chief Rabbi Dovid Freilich OAM at Abraham Day.

20 September 2016

Celebrating the unifying qualities and traditions of the three Abrahamic faiths – Christianity, Judaism and Islam – was the purpose of the inaugural Abraham Day, an annual interfaith gathering, held at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Fremantle Campus on 13 September 2016.

The University was delighted to welcome Catholic Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, Chief Rabbi Dovid Freilich OAM and Sheikh Muhammad Agherdien as keynote presenters. Reflecting the theme of Abraham: Our Father in Faith, each representative discussed the significance of Abraham for their own religious traditions and faith communities with more than 250 guests.

The event concluded with a public prayer gathering and the planting of an olive tree in the University’s Malloy Courtyard, signifying the shared origins and enduring respect held between members of these three monotheistic faiths.

Drawing upon the wisdom and teachings of their respective religious cultures, each of the leaders offered unique insights and reflections on the figure of Abraham and his significance for their faith traditions. Without ignoring significant theological differences, the leaders presented an inspiring picture of Abraham as a model of faith and righteousness for Christians, Jews and Muslims today, and thus as a source of hope for the fostering of unity and harmony between these three distinctive faith communities.

In welcoming guests to Abraham Day, Professor Hammond said “it has become increasingly clear that there is a need for members of religious communities, particularly those that find a common origin in the figure of Abraham, to come together. By establishing an annual Abraham-centred day, we hope to be able to contribute, in some small way, to the fostering of solidarity and friendship between the Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities of Western Australia in a spirit of openness, fraternity and hospitality.”

Leigh Dawson: Tel (08) 9433 0569; Mob 0405 441 093; leigh.dawson@nd.edu.au