LAMP Lectures and Seminars

LAMP offers lectures, seminars and workshops throughout the academic year on topics related to global leadership, religious diversity, and multifaith understanding.

Hrair Balian, The Mahboobeh and Parviz Izadi Lecture on Intercultural Peace

November 14, 2017, 3:30 - 6 p.m. Historic Academy of Medicine, 875 W. Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30309

Event Details: Mr. Balian will give a talk on The Carter Center's work in Syria, the principles that guide the Center's work, and the broader challenges of peace-building in Syria.

There will be time for discussion after the lecture.

     3:30 PM - Reception

     4:00 PM - Lecture

The full video of Mr. Balian's lecture can be viewed here.

Speaker Bio: Hrair Balian joined The Carter Center in 2008 as director of the Conflict Resolution Program. Balian oversees the program's efforts to monitor conflicts around the world and coordinates the Center's cross-program efforts in the Middle East. He is also an adjunct professor at the Emory University Law School, teaching an advanced international negotiations seminar.

Since 1991, Balian has worked in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the independent states emerging from the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and Africa, serving in intergovernmental organizations (the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and nongovernmental organizations (International Crisis Group and others). He has worked on elections, human rights, and conflict resolution. Balian received his Juris Doctor degree from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. In May 2009, the New England College awarded Balian the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, for his "lifetime commitment to the dignity, respect, and self-determination of all peoples" and for his "uncompromising effort to resolve international conflicts." He is fluent in English, French, and Armenian, with a basic knowledge of Arabic. He was born and raised in Lebanon, and moved to the United States in 1970.

Imam Abdullah Antepli, "Interfaith Leadership for the 21st Century"

November 1, 2017, 11 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Candler School of Theology, 1531 Dickey Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322

Event Details: What is the future for interfaith engagement in an increasingly diverse and politically polarized American society? What challenges will religious and civic leaders face as the 21st century progresses? What steps should young people in Atlanta take to develop enduring and meaningful multifaith relations? Candler School of Theology at Emory University and the Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation will host two events on November 1, 2017, to explore the challenges and opportunities for interfaith initiatives in Atlanta and across the United States. Students, young professionals, clergy, and members of the Atlanta community are invited to a lunchtime lecture and an evening dinner workshop with Imam Abdullah Antepli, Chief Representative of Muslim Affairs at Duke University.

11:00 AM-12:45 PM - Lunch Lecture

  • "Between Fear and Hope: The Future of Interfaith Engagement"
  • Candler School of Theology, RARB 252

6:30-8:30 PM: Dinner Workshop

  • "Dismantling Bias and Hate: Steps for Building Meaningful Multifaith Relations"
  • Candler School of Theology, RARB 102 

Both events will be held at Candler School of Theology and are free and open to the public, with registration required. Kosher and halal meal options will be available.

The recording of Abdullah Antepli's full lecture, "Between Fear and Hope: The Future of Interfaith Engagement," is now available.

John D. Cressler, "The Quest for Truth in a Technological Age: The Evolving Dialogue Between Science and Religion"

September 14, 2017, 7:00-8:00pm. Georgia Tech, Technology Square Research Building, Tech Square, 85 5th Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30308.

Event Details:  A lecture by Dr. John D. Cressler, Schlumberger Chair Professor and Ken Byers Teaching Fellow in Science and Religion at Georgia Tech's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. This event is free and open to the public. Paid parking is available at a parking deck labeled "Centergy Parking" across from the Technology Square Research Building on the right. More information is available on the Building's Directions and Parking page. 

Dialogue between science and religion, while historically contentious, continues to evolve in fascinating ways, with one recent implication being that science and religion, when properly considered from a “convergence” perspective, is capable of producing the most complete and satisfying path forward in humanity’s quest for truth. Said another way, don’t think science OR religion, think science AND religion. In this presentation Dr. Cressler will unpack the fascinating evolving dialogue between science and religion, in a casual, friendly, approachable way, exposing you to the marvels of modern science (cosmology, biology, quantum theory) and what those discoveries mean for religion and the future of humanity.

Speaker Bio: John D. Cressler is one of Georgia Tech’s most decorated teachers, is well-known for his research in the field of SiGe devices, circuits and systems, is a dedicated mentor to both undergraduate and graduate students, is a leader in service to his profession and community, is the author of a number of seminal books (both technical and for general audiences), and most recently, is an historical novelist (love stories designed to break open the magic of medieval Muslim Spain for modern readers). Whew, scary huh?! Cressler is the Schlumberger Chair Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Ken Byers Teaching Fellow in Science and Religion at Georgia Tech. He received his B.S. from Georgia Tech and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Cressler is also deeply interested in the interaction between science and religion, as well as interfaith dynamics, and he recently introduced a new course at Georgia Tech, a first of its kind, titled, “Science, Engineering and Religion: An Interfaith Dialogue,” which is also open to undergraduate students of all majors and years. 

Barbara A. McGraw, "Interfaith Leadership as Transforming Leadership."

April 18, 2017, 5:00-6:00pm. Georgia Tech, Wardlaw Building Poole Board Room, 177 North Avenue NW, Atlanta, GA 30313.

Event Details: This event is free and open to the public. Register on site or in advance by contacting us at lamp [at] (subject: 4%2F18%20Registration, body: Please%20register%20me%20for%20%22Interfaith%20Leadership%20as%20Transformational%20Leadership%22%20on%20April%2018.) . Paid parking is available at Visitor Lot 1 on North Avenue, west of the Wardlaw Building. Park on the top level and use the pedestrian walkway to cross North Ave. More information is available on the Georgia Tech parking and transportation website.

Speaker Bio: Barbara A. McGraw is Professor of Social Ethics, Law, and Public life in the School of Liberal Arts and School of Economics and Business Administration at St. Mary’s College of California. She also directs the Center for Engaged Religious Pluralism at St. Mary’s. Dr. McGraw is editor of the prestigious Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Religion and Politics in the U.S. (2016).  She is lead co-editor (with Jo Renee Formicola) of Taking Religious Pluralism Seriously: Spiritual Politics on America's Sacred Ground, which is based on Dr. McGraw's earlier book entitled Rediscovering America’s Sacred Ground: Public Religion and Pursuit of the Good in a Pluralistic America.  She is also co-author (with Robert S. Ellwood) of Many Peoples, Many Faiths: Women and Men in the World Religions (2014). She holds a Juris Doctor Degree and a Ph.D. in Religion and Social Ethics, both from the University of Southern California.  Recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi Award for the Advancement of Religious Pluralism, Dr. McGraw also is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, an Affiliate of The Pluralism Project at Harvard University, and an activist for prison inmates' religious rights and for fair representation of the world's religions in California K-12 textbooks.

Abbas Barzegar, "Faith and Forced Migration: Muslim Humanitarianism in the Age of ISIS."

April 20, 2017, 1:00-2:15pm. Emory University, White Hall 112, 301 Dowman Dr., Atlanta, GA 30322.


Event Details: Prolonged conflict in the Middle East stemming from political instability and the rise of extremist violence has positioned Muslim aid and development organizations at the nexus of a number of key elements related to conflict resolution and post-conflict stabilization in the short, medium and long terms. As first-responders with broad and deep grass-roots networks, Muslim humanitarian groups are often gatekeepers for a range of transnational actors operating in and around conflict zones and are uniquely situated to provide relief to the most vulnerable victims of war and forced migration. Unfortunately, there is a deep mistrust between Muslim NGOs and those based in Western contexts which has resulted in little to no cooperation between agencies that might otherwise have tremendous impact if they worked together. In partnership with the British Council and The European Commission and through field research, policy dialogues, and organizational research, Dr. Barzegar has explored the reasons behind this impasse and trajectories for resolution over the last two years. In this public talk and discussion, he will share his findings and insights on how Muslim humanitarian and development agencies are operating in the current political climate of mutual fear and suspicion. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. Co-sponsored with Emory University's Middle East and South Asian Studies Department, Graduate Division of Religion, and the Laney Legacy for Moral Leadership Program at Candler School of Theology. Visitor parking is available in the Peavine Parking Lot, 29 Eagle Row, Atlanta, GA 30322.

"Inclusive Leadership in Refugee Resettlement Workshop."

November 1-2, 2016

"Scaffolds for the Sacred: Interrogating the Role of Architecture in Generating Spiritual Experiences."

September 15, 2016, 12:00-6:30 P.M.

"Scaffolds for the Sacred" Event Photos

"In Our Son's Name: Reconciliation in the Aftermath of Violence - Film Screening and Dinner Discussion with Filmmaker Gayla Jamiso"

September 8, 2016

"Dignity and Freedom: Gandhi, King, and Mandela."

April 4, 2016

More About "Dignity and Freedom"

Dr. Keshavjee Honored With the Gandhi-King-Ikeda Award for Peace

"Dignity and Freedom" Photo Gallery

"Evolution and Faith: What Is at Stake?"

March 29, 2016

More About "Evolution and Faith: What Is at Stake?"

Video of "Evolution and Faith: What is at stake?"