Conference Imagines a More Peaceful World Through Arts

lit candles on pedestals

The 2019 Interfaith Peace Conference at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center takes place Thursday, November 21, through Sunday, November 24. The event brings Christians, Jews, Muslims and members of other religious traditions together to explore The Arts of Peace: Imagining the Way.

“The arts have been very important in the past nine Interfaith Peace Conferences as well as in the whole history of these Abrahamic faiths,” says Lake Junaluska Interfaith Peace Conference co-chair William Everett. “We wanted to capstone these nine years with a celebration of various arts and their impact on peace-building.”

The event features artists, interpreters, workshops, worship, films and arts-related activities including music, drama, textiles and dance. Guest performances include a Sema, a whirling ceremony; a concert by the Mars Hill University Gospel Choir; and Women and War, a reader’s theater play by Jack Hilton Cunningham. Guest presenters include Syrian violinist, motivational speaker and refugee advocate Mariela Shaker; fiber artist and lecturer Laurie Wohl; Biblical scholar and Old Testament doctoral student Jonathan Homrighausen; and traditional Islamic healing and medicine practitioner Ilyas Kashani. The conference will also display two volumes of the Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible, on loan from Carson-Newman University.

“We think participants will be amazed by the exquisite and powerful art of The Saint John’s Bible, the calligraphy of Bahman Panahi and the grace, beauty and spiritual meaning of the whirling dervish ceremony known as the Sema,” says Everett. “People may well be surprised and inspired by the variety and depth of these artistic expressions, not only in religious life but in the wider work of building a more peaceful world.”

Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center is located at 91 North Lakeshore Drive, Lake Junaluska. Registration for the conference is available online at Lodging and meal packages are available for those wishing to stay at Lake Junaluska, and there are special discounted rates for students. To learn more, call 800.222.4930 or visit

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