Benjamin Franklin on interfaith engagement


In 1739, Benjamin Franklin became involved with one of the earliest documented places intended for interfaith use in America. From its inception, it was built with the idea of being inclusive of all—including Muslims. In his writings, Franklin made clear the intent: 

Both house and ground were vested in trustees, expressly for the use of any preacher of any religious persuasion who might desire to say something to the people at Philadelphia; the design in building not being to accommodate any particular sect, but the inhabitants in general; so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.

In other words, the “preaching-house” was to be a meeting place open to people of all faiths, including a
representative from the religious hierarchy of the “Muslim world,” even so far as allowing him to “preach” Islam in America.



Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: