On Friday February 2, 2018, Pacifica Institute hosted a screening of the play “Mary and Maryam,” written and directed by Victoria Rue, professor of Comparative Religious Studies at San Jose State University. The play was written to highlight the similarities in the history of Mary/Maryam in both Christian and Islamic traditions, and to inspire dialogue between adherents of both faiths on the basis of respect and love for Mary/Maryam.
The event started with a reception and potluck dinner which allowed guests to meet and converse with one another. Near the end of the dinner, a Catholic priest Penny Donovan made a prayer and the play was started after a short introduction. The play had four breaks, during which guests had the opportunity to address various pre-determined discussion questions or any aspect of the play that caught their attention. At the end of the play, Dr. Rue led a general discussion and Q&A session. Many guests expressed their thanks for the opportunity to learn about Mary and Maryam and several others drew attention to the quality of dialogue and conversations they had with their tablemates. The event drew to a close with a representative of Pacifica Institute, Maryam H, offering a prayer for peace.