The Norman and Louis Miller Lecture in Public Understanding
Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Core
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Walter Theatre, Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
There is no better time to stand up for your values than when they are under attack.
In the decade following the attacks of 9/11, suspicion and animosity toward American Muslims has increased rather than subsided. Alarmist, hateful rhetoric once relegated to the fringes of political discourse has now become frighteningly mainstream, with pundits and politicians routinely invoking the specter of Islam as a menacing, deeply anti-American force.
Author and renowned interfaith leader Eboo Patel says this prejudice is not just a problem for Muslims but a challenge to the very idea of America. Patel shows us that Americans from George Washington to Martin Luther King Jr. have been “interfaith leaders,” illustrating how the forces of pluralism in America have time and again defeated the forces of prejudice. And now a new generation needs to rise up and confront the anti-Muslim prejudice of our era. To this end, Patel will discuss the art and science of interfaith work, bringing to life the growing body of research on how faith can be a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division and sharing stories from the frontlines of interfaith activism.
Patel asks us to share in his vision of a better America—a robustly pluralistic country in which our commonalities are more important than our differences, and in which difference enriches, rather than threatens, our religious traditions. Pluralism, Patel boldly argues, is at the heart of the American project, and will inspire Americans of all faiths to make this country a place where diverse traditions can thrive side by side.
Eboo Patel is the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a Chicago-based institution building the global interfaith youth movement. Eboo's core belief is that religion is a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division. He is inspired to build this bridge by his faith as a Muslim, his Indian heritage, and his American citizenship. He has spoken about this vision at places like the TED conference, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, as well as college and university campuses across the country. He has written two books about interfaith cooperation, Acts of Faith and Sacred Ground, and is also a regular contributor to the Washington Post, National Public Radio and CNN. He is a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship.
This event is free and open to the public. No registration is required. For more information, call Catherine Kasten at 920-403-3919.