Fostering Interfaith Religious Tolerance Takes Litigator to Middle East

June 10, 2009

Author: Douglas S. Malan

Source: The Connecticut Law Tribune

At the heart of his profession, James K. Robertson Jr. thrives on conflict and disputes as a litigation partner at Carmody & Torrance.

But away from work, Robertson focuses on cooperation and tolerance among a group of people probably more at odds than any of his clients -- Christians, Jews and Muslims.

For 15 years, Robertson has been involved with the Hartford Seminary, studying theology, history and religion and working with the seminary to improve relations and create interfaith ministries among religious groups.

His activities have taken him to the Persian Gulf on numerous occasions where he participates in forums with scholars and students to help prepare them to become peacemakers. He's also involved in recruiting students from Islamic countries to study at Hartford Seminary.

"In terms of the big picture, this is probably the most important thing I can do," said Robertson. "Many people have real difficulty reaching out to the religious 'other,' and so groups can be simplistically and unfairly labeled. It's a problem that has always been with us, and the consequences are severe."