Participants

Martin Accad, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Islamic Studies

Fuller Theological Seminary
Pasadena, California

Director, Institute of Middle East Studies
Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, Lebanon

Martin Accad keenly recognizes the Middle East’s special complexities and challenges. Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, he lived through that country’s 1975-1991 civil war and experienced firsthand the realities of religious conflict. “I’ve come to learn that interfaith dialogue often is a question of life or death, a matter of survival and continuity. It is not simply an ideal or a trend,” Dr. Accad says.

An expert on Islam, Middle East Christianity, and Christian-Muslim relations, Accad currently instructs students in both the East and the West. He teaches Islamic Studies at Fuller on a half-time basis, while also serving as director of the Institute of Middle East Studies at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Lebanon. His goal is to help students develop “a balanced and realistic view of Islam that avoids either demonization or idealization,” along with a solid Christian approach to interfaith relations.

“In the Middle East, we’re dealing with issues that go back 14 centuries,” Accad points out. Though the difficulties are real, he believes fervently that education and respectful dialogue have the power to effect positive transformation. “As an Arab Christian, I consider that I have a responsibility in this regard, towards my area of the world, and on behalf of God’s gospel of peace.”

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