Lay Centre Alumna Lejla Demiri recently shared her reflections with us about life at the Lay Centre, and about her future plans.
I lived at the Lay Centre between October 2002 and July 2004. While living at the Lay Centre I studied Christian theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University (holding a Nostra Aetate scholarship awarded by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue). First I obtained a Post-graduate Diploma (graduated in June 2003) and then a Licentiate in Interreligious Studies (graduated in July 2004).
At the moment I am a post-doctoral research fellow at a project called “Zukunftsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship” at the Free University of Berlin. My current research examines a late 17th and early 18th century Muslim theologian’s views on religious pluralism. Just recently I’ve been offered a teaching position at Tübingen University where I’ll be teaching Islamic Theology, starting next academic year.
The Lay Centre was not only a place that provided me with accommodation and other facilities for enjoying my student days in Rome, but more importantly, as a Muslim who takes matters of faith seriously, it offered me abundant possibilities to further my knowledge of Christian tradition and spirituality. It served as an excellent platform to meet important church figures, eminent scholars of different faith backgrounds, diplomats, journalists – simply people from all walks of life. It introduced me to the world of interfaith dialogue in the most natural way: through lifelong friendships.