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The vision and purpose of the Dialogue Institute is embodied in the rich religious and cultural diversity of our staff. Among our team are Muslim, Jewish, Roman Catholic and Protestant leaders, with backgrounds in seven different countries. Staff members are available to lecture and lead seminars locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Dialogue Institute Leadership
Dr. Leonard Swidler

LEONARD SWIDLER is Founder and President of the Dialogue Institute, as well as Founding Editor of the Journal of Ecumenical Studies. He is Professor of Catholic Thought and Interreligious Dialogue in the Religion Department of Temple University, where he has taught since 1966. At Temple, and as a visiting professor at universities around the world – including Graz, Austria; Tübingen, Germany; Fudan University, Shanghai; and the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur – Prof. Swidler has mentored a generation of U.S. and international scholars in the work of interreligious dialogue. Prof. Swidler has a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the University of Tübingen, and received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin; he also holds honorary doctorates from St. Norbert’s College and LaSalle University. Prof. Swidler has published more than 180 articles and 70 books, including: Jewish‑Christian‑Muslim Dialogue (1978); Religious Liberty and Human Rights (1986); After the Absolute: The Dialogical Future of Religious Reflection (1990); A Bridge to Buddhist-Christian Dialogue (1990); Muslims in Dialogue: The Evolution of a Dialogue over a Generation (1992); Jesus Was a Feminist (2007). The recipient of numerous international awards, he was most recently honored with the establishment of the endowed Leonard and Arlene Swidler Chair in Interreligious Dialogue at Temple University.


Rebecca Mays

REBECCA MAYS is Executive Director of the Dialogue Institute. Ms. Mays holds a B.A. in English from Earlham College and an M.A. in Folklore and Folklife from University of Pennsylvania, and has completed her M.A. in Religious Studies at Temple as a Graduate Fellow and Intern in the Dialogue Insitute office. She brings strong teaching experience from being a Quaker educator and professional publishing expertise along with a longstanding passion and wisdom for interfaith encounter to her new role. Prior to coming to Temple in 2008, she served as the Director of a Master's program in English and Publishing at Rosemont College. She has established interfaith colleagues in teaching the Gospels and Quaker studies at Pendle Hill, a Quaker Study Center, in Media, PA. She will serve to help generate new program work for the Dialogue Institute as she completes the dissertation for the Ph.D. in Religious Studies with an emphasis on Interfaith Activism.


Dr. Racelle Weiman

RACELLE WEIMAN, Ph.D. is Director of Global Education and Professional Training for the Dialogue Institute. She holds a B.A. in Jewish Studies from UCLA and M.A. and Ph.D. from Temple University in the field of Interreligious Studies. She received accreditation in Mediation at the Truman Peace Institute at Hebrew University, Jerusalem (1993), and participated in a training film “From Confrontation to Cooperation” between Israelis and Palestinians. She pursued post doctoral research at the Fletcher School of Diplomacy at Tufts University in ethnic conflict resolution (1995) and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard University (1997), and has participated in the International Scholars’ Abrahamic Trialogue since 1993. Dr. Weiman received the highest civilian award, the Order of Lakandula, from the Philippine Government (2005), and was honored by the Bulgarian Government (2002). She produced a National Emmy finalist documentary film (CBS TV, 2004) and has served as a senior research consultant for the BBC (1997 Prize). Prior to her current appointment, she was founding Director of the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati Ohio (2000-2006). Author of several textbooks and curriculum materials, Dr. Weiman served on the faculty of the University of Haifa, Israel, (1986-2000) where she taught and developed projects relating to tolerance education, prejudice reduction, and Holocaust and genocide studies, and was a fellow at the S. Neaman Institute on Professional Ethics.


Angela Ilić
Erin Hedlun

ERIN HEDLUN is Communications & Marketing Manager for the Dialogue Institute. She holds a B.S. in Communications and Electronic Media from Evangel University, Springfield, MO. Erin and her family relocated from Springfield, MO, where she served most recently at Global University, a distance learning higher education institution, as their Director of Communications & Marketing. Erin is a member of the National Association of Professional Women, served as a Police Chaplain in Springfield, MO and as a leader in her local Assemblies of God congregation. She originally hails from the Pocono Mountains of PA. Erin is passionate about building networks of influence through social media outreach and in coordinating marketing campaigns that generate public interest in the non-profit sector. She believes the best results come from the power of people who are connected, no matter their location.



Dialogue Institute Associates
Meliani Murtiningsih

MELIANI MURTININGSIH, M.A. is a Program Associate at the Dialogue Institute and Editorial Assistant for the Journal of Ecumenical Studies. Meliani holds a Bachelor of Theology emphasizing Islamic Studies and an M.A. in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations from Hartford Seminary, Hartford, CT. She has earned certificates from the International Institute of Islamic Thought for its Summer Student Program, and from Hartford Seminary for its Congregational Relations Program, Women Leadership Institute, and Overseas Ministries Student Center. Meliani is originally from Indonesia and her academic interests are in Christian and Islamic Theology, Islamic Jurisprudence and the history of relations between Christians and Muslims worldwide. Back in Indonesia, she was an intern minister for different churches, and served in youth ministry in her own congregation.



Religion Librarian at Temple|University
Fred Rowland
Fred Rowland

Fred Rowland purchases print and electronic materials, provides library instruction, and supports student and faculty research.  Mr. Rowland has a B.A. in German Literature from the University of Virginia, an M.L.S. in Library Science from Drexel University, and an M.B.A. in Business Administration from Temple University.  In regular contact with Temple's Religion Department, and as a consultant for the Dialogue Institute on the Interreligious Literacy Project, he helps educate a diverse student body in religious traditions from around the world, past and present, and provides a challenging and resourceful environment for scholarly research. 


RIS Department, Office 316
Paley Library, Temple University

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The Journal of Ecumenical Studies and its related Dialogue Institute comprise an independent 501(c)(3) (NGO) at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.