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Jewell speaker addresses issues of Christian-Muslim dialogue
Contact: Rob Eisele816-415-7574
October 2, 2007

William Jewell College presents The Binns Lectures on the Sacred and Secular, and Power and Justice in Society, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 6 and at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, November 7, both in John Gano Memorial Chapel on the campus in Liberty, Mo. The public is invited to attend, and no tickets or reservations are required.

Guest speaker for the event is Dr. Charles Kimball, professor of religion in the Department of Religion and professor of comparative religion in the Divinity School at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. Dr. Kimball’s topic for the November 6 lecture is “The Struggle for the Soul of Islam: What in the World is Going On, and Why?” His topic for the November 7 lecture is “Sharing the Road into an Uncertain Future: Obstacles and Opportunities for Christians and Muslims in the 21st Century.”

In addition to the two Binns Lectures, Dr. Kimball will participate in a panel discussion at 3:30 p.m. November 6 in Room 107 of White Science Center on the William Jewell campus. The topic is “What makes religion newsworthy: how the media cover religion.” The panelists joining Dr. Kimball are Lewis Diuguid, columnist at The Kansas City Star, and Dr. Charles Marsh, associate professor of journalism at the Kansas University Journalism School. The public is also invited to attend this free event.

Dr. Kimball is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and holds the M.Div. degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. An ordained Baptist minister, he received his Th.D. from Harvard University in comparative religion with specialization in Islamic studies. His courses at Wake Forest include Introduction to Religion, World Religions, Conceptions of the Afterlife and Islam. He is a frequent lecturer in universities and church-related settings as well as an expert analyst on issues related to the Middle East, Islam, Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations and the intersection of religion and politics in the United States.

Dr. Kimball was one of seven people invited to Iran in December 1979 as a representative of the larger religious community to facilitate communication in the wake of the Iranian hostage crisis. This visit, as well as two others in 1980 and 1981, provided an opportunity for personal meetings with the Ayatollah Khomeini and other leading ayatollahs.

Before joining the Wake Forest faculty in 1996, Dr. Kimball taught for six years at Furman University, where he also served as the Director for International Education. From 1983 to 1990, he was the Director of the Middle East Office at the National Council of Churches, based in New York. He has made more than 35 visits to the Middle East and worked closely with Congress, the White House and the State Department during the past 20 years.

Dr. Kimball’s articles have appeared in a number of publications, including Sojourners, The Christian Century, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor and The Boston Globe. He is the author of four books, including When Religion Becomes Evil (Harper San Francisco, 2002). When Religion Becomes Evil was named one of the “Top 15 Books on Religion for 2002” by Publishers Weekly. His three other books are Striving Together: A Way Forward in Christian-Muslim Relations (Orbis Books); Religion, Politics and Oil: The Volatile Mix in the Middle East (Abingdon Press); and Angle of Vision: Christians and the Middle East (Friendship Press).

Since the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001, Dr. Kimball has been interviewed by some 500 television and radio stations as well as major newspapers and broadcast outlets throughout the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Sweden, France, Australia and South Africa.

The presentation is part of the college’s “Perspectives on the Common Good” lecture series, which incorporates the Walter Pope Binns Lectures. Dr. Binns served as president of William Jewell College from 1943 to 1962. A pastor, writer, counselor and educator, Dr. Binns epitomized the compatibility of intellectual curiosity and uncompromising Christian commitment. The lecture series was endowed in 1980 by the Fuller E. Callaway Foundation of Georgia to enhance intellectual inquiry within the Christian tradition at William Jewell. The lectureship brings to the campus annually an eminent scholar to share research and experience with students, faculty, staff and interested community members.

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