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Speakers' Forum

Ann Holmes Redding: Abrahamic Reunion

Jenny Asarnow
12/24/2009 at 8:00 p.m.

Ann Holmes Redding was an Episcopal priest — and the director of faith formation programs at Saint Mark's Cathedral in Seattle — when she announced she had become a practicing Muslim. But she hadn't renounced Christianity. She believes she is 100 percent Christian and 100 percent Muslim. Think that's impossible? She says it's just like identifying completely as an African–American and as a woman.

The Episcopal Church disagrees. Redding's superior, Bishop Geralyn Wolf, said Redding "abandoned the Communion of the Episcopal Church by formal admission into a religious body not in communion with the Episcopal Church."

Ann Holmes Redding says she believes God called her to be a Muslim. She believes her exploration of faith can help bridge the divide between followers of the three Abrahamic faiths — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. She's founded a nonprofit organization called Abrahamic Reunion West to do just that.

Ann Holmes Redding earned two masters degrees and a PhD in theology. She was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1984. On March 26, 2009 — the 25th anniversary of her ordination — she spoke to supporters at Seattle's Town Hall about her spiritual path. Less than a week later she was defrocked by the Episcopal Church.

Ann Holmes Redding is the coauthor of "Out of the Darkness Into Light: Spiritual Guidance in the Quran with Reflections from Christian and Jewish Sources."

We also hear from Eugene Webb, Professor Emeritus at The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and founding chairman of the university's Comparative Religion Program.

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