Silsilah’s 25th offering of the Summer Course | May 4, 2011

In 1987 the first Silsilah Summer Course was offered out of the Silsilah office in a building in downtown Zamboanga City.

The course was designed to give knowledge about the basic teachings and history of Islam and Christianity; Muslims and Christians sat in the same class and thus together learned about each other’s religion. The atmosphere of learning about each other’s religion without the atmosphere of debate led to friendly interactions and fostered openness and acceptance of similarities and differences between the two religions. The dialogical approach used in the pedagogy promoted the spirit of dialogue which is the vision of Silsilah.

The yearly offering of the Silsilah Summer Course has been made possible with the generous support of MISSIO. About 2000 participants from 207 institutions/organizations and 28 countries have joined the Silsilah Summer Course over the years.

The Summer Course program has been a challenge for Silsilah to form in many areas in Mindanao and other parts of the Philippines the Silsilah Forum, formed by alumni of the Silsilah Summer Course and others who wish to continue their experience and formation on dialogue and peace. Each forum, in coordination with the central secretariat of Silsilah Forum based in Zamboanga City, is invited to organize different activities, including “intensive courses”. Cagayan de Oro and Davao Forum have for a few years ran the intensive course.

Three alumni of the course gave their personal reflection on what participation in the course has done for them:
“The usefulness of the course was not immediately felt, but certainly it confirmed my own initial drive to pursue further interreligious dialogue and work for peace. After 21 years of Silsilah experience, little did I realize I would be pursuing the same line of engagement – so ancient and yet so new. I would like to think that I am an eternal beginner in this work, hopeful but tamed by practical realities.”
-Fr. Antonio Moreno,SJ, Batch 1989
President, Ateneo de Zamboanga University

“The course helped me to reconnect again with my previous involvement in peace and human rights advocacy. In fact, it gave me more motivation and courage to move on in a new light. That light is the spirituality of life in dialogue. It gave me more meaning and purpose; it transcends conventional wisdom into the spirit of sincerity, sensitivity and solidarity in our day-to-day encounter with people of other culture and faith.”
-Prof. Alih Aiyub, Batch 2000
Faculty, Western Mindanao State University
Volunteer, Silsilah Dialogue Institute

“The course helped me to refrain from thinking/giving general judgment on certain things, but rather to analyze what are the real tenets/beliefs of certain religion and what are the personal/political ideologies being injected to such religion. Needless to say, in this part of the world, the dominant religion is being used by extremists/fundamentalists to insist on their own interpretation of the belief and to suppress those contrary to theirs. Silsilah has prepared me to identify these, hence I felt confident and happy to be here. Thanks to Silsilah.”
-Fr. Jimmy Lindero, Batch 2008
Mill Hill Missionary, Sindh, Pakistan

Calling all Silsilah Alumni who wish to attend the 25 Year Offering of Silsilah Summer Course this year. You are all welcome.
May 7-9, 20011
Harmony Village, Pitogo, Sinunuc, Zamboanga City
For inquiries and confirmation, contact:
Cristina Beltran
CP # 09276513811
Tel/Fax (062) 991-8712 / 991-5942
facebook : Silsilah Dialogue Movement
(Note: Travel expenses will not be shouldered by Silsilah. This special event is voluntary for those who wish to come and join the gathering)

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