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Martin Forward – who he?

Martin Forward was an Air Force brat – his father was in the Royal Air Force from 1935-69 – and he spent his childhood in Singapore, the Isle of Man and Aden, as well as England. This taught him adaptability, a love of travel and great curiosity about different cultures. His late wife Udho worked for the Heartland Blood Centers, and their daughter Naomi was a student at Aurora University and now plays around with numbers in the world of finance.

Before moving to the United States in 2001, Martin was Academic Dean of Wesley House in Cambridge, England, and a member of Cambridge University’s Faculty of Divinity, where he lectured in Christian theology and Jewish-Christian relations. In the 1970’s, he worked for the Henry Martyn Institute of Islamic Studies, a Christian organization of mission and dialogue with Muslims in Hyderabad, India. He was a founding director of the Centre for Jewish Christian Relations in Cambridge, which is now the Woolf Institute, dedicated to Interfaith Research, Teaching and Dialogue. As one of the few Christian scholars with expertise in interfaith dialogue with both Jews and Muslims, he has been in demand as a consultant by prestigious organizations. He was an occasional consultant to the International Council of Christians and Jews, and remains a trustee of the Woolf Institute.

Martin is an ordained British Methodist minister and was also ordained deacon in the Church of South India. He was a church pastor for 13 years, as well as chaplain to Methodist students in London University and to London’s National Heart Hospital. In December 2002, he delivered the prestigious Cambridge Teape Lectures in Delhi and Hyderabad, India. These were published in 2008 as The Nature and the Name of Love: Religion for the Contemporary World. He has edited two books and authored seven books (some of which have been translated into German, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian) and has written numerous academic articles. Martin greatly relishes teaching  AU students. He has taken many of them on trips to diverse places of worship in Chicago and the western suburbs, and to see Christian, Jewish and Muslim holy places in Turkey. He has the habit of mentoring soccer students, and at one time enjoyed and benefited from mentoring a succession of Spartan Fellows, Wackerlin Fellows and interns who worked with him for a year, after their graduation, in the Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action, of which he was the executive director from 2001-2011. He  is now a full professor of history.


3 responses »

  1. Dr. Forward,
    I just wanted to take this opportunity to say hello and that I wish you were here. I graduate in May and would like to hear from you or see you. Hope all is well with you and the family. Take care

  2. Dear Dr Forward,

    Kenneth Cracknell suggested I get in contact with you. I am a former student of from his days in Cambridge. I graduated from Bristol with a First in Religion with Literature and then took the two year M.Phil at Cambridge in the early 1990s. I was very much inspired by Kenneth and feel passionate about inter-faith dialogue. It is something very much at the heart of my life – initially through Islam (inspired by writers like Seyyed Hosein Nasr), subsequenty with Hinduism (I have strong connections with Shankaracharya traditions in India) and now with Burddhism. My wife is a Buddhist.

    I have spent my last 13 years as an investigative television journalist and subsequently a travel writer, exploring life and cultures particularly in Latin America and South East Asia. I lived for four years in Brazil and have spent much time in the Amazon and Mesoamerica. I am particularly interested in contemporary African-indigenous syncretistic spirituality in Brazil, contemporary Maya spirituality (as explored by writers like Linda Schele) and inter-faith dialogue in general through a shared conversation about mystical experience. I have been involved with these extensively on a personal level and through my work.

    However I have long yearned for a more intellectually engaged spiritual life and long to get back into the academic world.

    Kenneth suggested that I get in contact with you. I do so in the hope that I can become more actively involved with the academic and inter-faith world.

    all the best,

    Alex Robinson

    • Hello Alex
      It occurs to me that you might contact George Chryssides: George took over as sub-editor from me on new religious movements for a multi-edition encyclopedia of the bible. He’s probably looking for contributors, for a start, and can introduce you to other scholars in that area. Do say that I suggested you get in touch.
      If anything else comes to mind, I’ll be in touch. Thanks for contacting me: Martin


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