Kimball to deliver Jarvis lecture
(Oct. 16, 2003)
Dr. Charles Kimball, a Middle East expert and scholar of Christian-Muslim relations, will speak on "When Religion Becomes Evil" at East Carolina University on Oct. 28.
Kimball has worked with Congress, the White House, and the State Department on Middle East issues for 20 years.
He will deliver the annual Jarvis Lecture on Christianity and Culture, now in its 12th year. The free public lecture will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Murphy Center adjacent to Minges Coliseum.
Free parking is available at the center. The lecture is sponsored by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Religious Studies Program, and supported by a contribution from the Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church.
"Dr. Kimball has extensive experience as an international relations consultant," said Dr. Calvin Mercer, director of the ECU Religious Studies Program."He promoted dialogue and helped facilitate the peaceful resolution of the Iran hostage crisis. During three trips to Iran he met with Iranian government and religious leaders and student militants occupying the U.S. embassy."
Kimball is professor and chair of the Department of Religion at Wake Forest University and author of four books. His most recent work is the award-winning "When Religion Becomes Evil." Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, he has been interviewed by about 300 television and radio stations as well as major newspapers and broadcast outlets in several foreign countries.
The lecture will provide a bold analysis of the ways in which all religions can become destructive, and proposals for how religion can remain true to its authentic sources and a force for positive change. Kimball will also address obstacles and opportunities in Christian-Muslim relations.
"We are fortunate to have as a guide someone who provides a helpful historical, cultural, and religious context for the some of the very serious national and international issues we face," Mercer said. "These issues can be controversial and IÕm sure not all will agree with everything said, but the lecture should help raise the level of discussion about the complicated way religion is woven into thorny social and political problems throughout the world."
The Religious Studies Program at East Carolina provides students with the opportunity for analytical study of religion. The interdisciplinary program provides an inexpensive annual study abroad tour and other programs for students and members of the community.