posted August 26, 2003

Muste Lecture on Middle East Peace

A long-time peace educator and advocate for peace in the Middle East will speak on Tuesday, Sept. 9, as this year's A.J. Muste lecturer at Hope College.

Since 1967, Tony Bing, an emeritus professor of English literature and peace studies at Earlham College in Indiana, has been promoting peace in the Middle East by taking students there to learn for themselves. He will present "Peace is the Way" on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 3:30 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall, located on College Avenue between 10th and 12th Streets. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Anthony (Tony) Bing retired in 2001 from Earlham College, where for 31 years he taught English literature and peace and global studies. He served as executive director of the Peace Studies Association, which recognized him as peace educator of the year in 1992.

His involvement in the Middle East began in 1967, when he led a group of GLCA students, including several from Hope, to the American University of Beirut, where they spent their junior year. In 1982 he founded a Peace Studies Program in Jerusalem, the Great Lakes Jerusalem Program, in which Hope College was one of four founding members. Bing and his wife June led the program on five different occasions.

Since his retirement, Bing has served as clerk of the National Executive Committee of Peacebuilding Unit of the American Friends Service Committee, in addition to clerking the Middle East Committee and serving on the AFSC Board of Directors. He has also been a member of the Middle East Task Force of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. In June of 2002 he was a leader of an International Quaker Working Party to the Middle East, whose report, "Beyond Silence," is being published this fall.

Bing's own writing has been in the areas of theory and practice of nonviolence, Albert Camus, William Shakespeare and many aspects of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, including a biography of Joseph Abileah, Israeli pacifist and musician. His three daughters and his wife share his interest in the Middle East, its history and culture.

A graduate of Haverford College, Oxford University and the University of Michigan, Bing continues his education in the mountains of North Carolina, where he teaches in a college for senior citizens; indulges in a passion for mountain music, golf and arts and crafts; and serves on a committee for peace and justice in the Middle East.

The A.J. Muste Peace Lecture began in 1985 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of A.J. Muste, a prominent peace activist and labor organizer who graduated from Hope College in 1905. Every year since then the lecture has been given by someone who lives out Muste's vision of a peaceful and just society. Lecturers have included well-known peace activists as well as not-so-well-known people whose effectiveness has been greater than their notoriety.