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Many Faiths, Many Books

Many Faiths, Many Books

A Three-Part Series • Hughes Main Library

Enjoy a panel discussion with speakers from a variety of religious traditions as they share their faith and the books that sustain them.

Recommended Reading

Claude Stulting
Moderator: Dr. Claude Stulting

A Furman University professor, Dr. Stulting has his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and his Masters of Divinity from Duke University. He is currently researching Byzantine churches and icons, and enjoys traveling to Turkey.

Joann Borovicka
Joann Borovicka • Bahá’í

JoAnn Borovicka is the author of Light of the Kingdom: Biblical Topics in the Bahá’í Writings and other interfaith works. A faculty member of the Wilmette Institute Religion Department, Joann is a regular speaker at theology colloquiums, and a presenter at the 2018 Parliament of World Religions. She also works as an educational consultant (specializing in the pedagogy of liberation), a profession that has taken her across the world working with schools and universities as well as organizations such as Global Learning Partners, the John F. Kennedy Foundation, and Habitat for Humanity. She lives in Greenville, South Carolina where she serves on the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Greenville County and on the Board of Trustees of Interfaith Forum Greenville.

Jim Axelson
Jim Axelson • Latter Day Saints

Jim Axelson, Greenville South Carolina Stake President, presides over 7 congregations in the Upstate for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or approximately 4300 members.

Jim has been serving in this calling for 5 years. Jim owned and operated his own carpet cleaning business for almost 30 years. Originally from Syracuse NY, Jim has been married to his wife Janie for 46 years and has 4 children and 15 grandchildren. Jim and Janie have lived in the Upstate for over 36 years. His hobbies include woodcarving and camping.

Fareeha Qazi
Fareeha Qazi • Islam

Fareeha Qazi is a mother of three, a middle school social studies teacher, an activist, and a social justice advocate. She is a member of the Islamic Society of Greenville and has spoken at various conferences, seminars, and panels promoting the peaceful nature of Islam and Muslims. She has also written several editorials in the local paper on racial equality. Fareeha has a great passion for religious knowledge, and attends regular classes at the Islamic Center.

Drew Vadoothker
Drew Vadoothker • Hindu

Drew Vadoothker was born in South Central India and has lived in Greenville, South Carolina since 1977. Drew has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Osmania University and a Masters in Chemical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology at Chicago.

Vadoothker is a regular volunteer at Vedic Center, an Indian Temple on Bethel Road in Mauldin, SC where he teaches Yoga, Philosophy, and Values for Kids each Sunday. In the past he has spoken by invitation at local churches, the Vedic Center, and also participated in InterFaith groups during the early and middle 2000s after 9/11.

Mathew Marko
Rabbi Mathew Marko • Judaism

Congregation Beth Israel's Rabbi, Mathew Marko, hails from Brooklyn N.Y. and survived 18 years in California. His career adventures have included acting professionally at the Hippodrome State Theatre in Florida and The Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles, development and fundraising, teaching students as a much demanded substitute teacher in LA’s school district, and proprietor of a fine carpentry and custom furniture shop in Los Angeles.

This is all precedent to realizing his calling: Torah, Jewish community, spiritual modernism and activism, justice, and Israel. Rabbi Matt also combines his love of Torah and creativity in teaching woodcraft at Camp Ramah Darom. A fierce defender and advocate for Israel, he has lived on kibbutz, is an AIPAC Leffell Rabbinic Leadership fellow, and will spend any Shabbat minute answering questions about why Jews need to know and love Israel. Rabbi Matt owes his success to the support of his best friend and wife, Marie.

Cindy Riyad
Cindy Riyad • Coptic

Born and raised in Greenville, Cindy is Youth Services Director for Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church in downtown Greenville. Cindy's role includes working with parishioners and the Board to ensure visibility of the church in various local community activities and events. Cindy also served in the same role at St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church in Mauldin prior to joining her new congregation.

Cindy completed her bachelors degree in Political Science and Latin American Studies at Furman University in 2007. Shortly afterwards, in 2008, she was selected as a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar and completed her masters degree in International Relations at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia in October 2009. Cindy is currently a doctoral student at Clemson University, completing her PhD in Educational Leadership - Higher Education.