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Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations

  • Research Institutions

    • Hartford Seminary, 77 Sherman Street, Hartford, CT 06105, USA
  • hartsem

  • English
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Develop mutual respect and cooperation between Muslims and Christians through intensive study and academically guided dialogue.


The Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations is the country's oldest center for such study. The Macdonald Center embodies Hartford Seminary's long-term commitment — begun in 1893 — to the study of Islam and Christianity and the complex relationship between the two religions throughout history and in the modern world.

IRD Activities

  • Study Tour

    Every other year, the Macdonald Center in consultation with the President and Dean organizes an international study seminar. These seminars provide participants with a rare opportunity to meet Muslim, Christian, Jewish and other religious leaders in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and elsewhere and to learn about local efforts at inter-faith cooperation

  • Interfaith Dialogue

    A major part of the activity of the Macdonald Center is involvement in interfaith dialogue, with particular emphasis on Christian-Muslim relations. All Center faculty and personnel are committed to the importance of better understanding between and among faiths, and to supporting efforts toward building relationships based on tolerance and trust

  • Safe Place

    The Macdonald Center provides resources as well as a gathering place for its local and international students, and participants in Center activities find it a “safe place” where they are free to share their perspectives on a range of issues. While the Macdonald Center is frequently the locale for conversations among members of several religious traditions, often focusing specifically on Christian-Muslim-Jewish interactions, its history and particular expertise is interaction and dialogue between Muslims and Christians.

  • Luce-Hartford Conference in Christian-Muslim Relations

    In 2015, the Henry Luce Foundation awarded Hartford Seminary a four-year grant of $475,000 to hire a scholar with expertise in Christian-Muslim relations from a Christian perspective and to develop an annual conference on topics that involved Christian-Muslim relations.In 2016, the scholar, Professor David D. Grafton, joined the faculty of the Seminary’s Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, the oldest such center of its kind in the United States. In 2017, Hartford Seminary held its first Luce-Hartford Conference in Christian-Muslim Relations on the topic of the refugee crisis.

  • Main Focus Countries of Activities

    Northern Africa - South-Eastern Asia - South-Eastern Asia - USA - USA - USA