2010 Interfaith Dialogue » Panel Facilitator

Compassion in Daily Practice: Exploring Common Ground
University of the West | Saturday, March 13, 2010 | 9:00am-5:00pm

Panel Facilitator

Dr. Michael Kerze

Professor of Religions, Loyola Marymount University

Dr. Michael Kerze. Dr. Kerze is native to Los Angeles and grew up in the San Fernando Valley.  He completed his college education by obtaining his BA, MA and PhD from UCLA with a focus on the history of religions and the history of science.  He has published articles on religion and science in the Encyclopedia of Religion  (1987) and has given talks about the relationship of religion and science.  After teaching at Loyola Marymount University and CSUN, he became director of the Herrick Memorial Chapel and Interfaith Center at Occidental College where he developed an innovative interfaith program with students and the religious staff.  In addition to directing the Center, he taught and developed the position of College Ombudsperson.  After leaving Occidental in 1996, he served at UCI as assistant ombudsperson and then in 1999 left  UC Irvine for UCLA where he served as an ombudsperson. He published several articles on ombudsing and convened a major ombudsperson conference. He left ombudsing to return to teaching in 2000 and has taught classes in history and religious studies at LMU. Santa Monica College, and Los Angeles Valley College.

In 1989 Dr. Kerze was invited to become a member of the Los Angeles Buddhist Catholic Dialogue and since 1995, has been co-chair with the Ven. Karuna Dharma.  With the Ven. Karuna Dharma, he wrote An Early Journey: The Los Angeles Buddhist Catholic Dialogue (1991). With the Sangha Council of Southern California, the Los Angeles dialogue, the Faiths in the World Committee of NADEO, he helped plan and coordinate the first national Buddhist Catholic Dialogue and Retreat (1998).

In addition, since 1989, he has been the Catholic educator in the Catholic Jewish Educational Enrichment Program sponsored by the American Jewish Committee and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  The program which was pioneered in Los Angeles is now found in cities across the nation. He continues to teach religious studies and history at Los Angeles Valley College and Santa Monica College.

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