posted September 19, 2011

Danforth Lecture to Explore Islam “From Dictatorship to Democracy”

Dr. John L. Esposito, who is professor of international affairs and Islamic studies at Georgetown University, will present "From Dictatorship to Democracy: The Future of Islam and U.S.-Muslim World Relations" as the 2011 Danforth Lecture at Hope College on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 4 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

University Professor as well as professor of religion and international affairs and of Islamic studies at Georgetown University, John L. Esposito is founding director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the Walsh School of Foreign Service. 

Esposito has served as consultant to the U.S. Department of State and other agencies, European and Asian governments, and corporations, universities and the media worldwide. He is a former president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and of the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies, vice chair of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, and member of the World Economic Forum's Council of 100 Leaders.  He is currently vice president and president-elect of the American Academy of Religion, a member of the E. C. European Network of Experts on De-Radicalisation and the board of C-1 World Dialogue, and an ambassador for the UN Alliance of Civilizations. 

Among other honors, Esposito is recipient of the AmericanAcademy of Religion's Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion and of Pakistan's Quaid-i-Azzam Award for Outstanding Contributions in Islamic Studies and the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University Award for Outstanding Teaching. 

He is editor-in-chief of "Oxford Islamic Studies Online" and series editor of "The Oxford Library of Islamic Studies," and editor-in-chief of "The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World," "The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World," "The Oxford History of Islam," "The Oxford Dictionary of Islam" and "The Islamic World: Past and Present." His more than 45 books and monographs include: "Islamophobia and the Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century," "The Future of Islam," "Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think" (with Dalia Mogahed), "Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam," "The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?" "Islam and Politics," and "What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam."  His books and articles have been translated into more than 35 languages. 

Esposito's interviews and articles with newspapers, magazines, and the media in Europe, Asia and the Middle East have included "The Wall Street Journal," "The New York Times," "The Washington Post," "The Economist," "The Guardian," "The Times" of London, CNN, ABC "Nightline," CBS, NBC, and the BBC. 

Esposito's address has been scheduled in advance of this year's Critical Issues Symposium at Hope, "Exploring Islam," which will open with an evening keynote presentation on Tuesday, Oct. 4, and continue with multiple addresses on Wednesday, Oct. 5.  Additional information about the Critical Issues Symposium may be obtained online at http://www.hope.edu/cis/ 

The Danforth Lecture is sponsored by the Hope College department of religion with support from an endowment established by the Danforth Foundation of St. Louis, Mo. The program was established by the foundation "to deepen and enlarge the religious dimension of the campus family through speakers who can reflect on the broad, interdenominational and yet positive sense of the Judaeo-Christian perspectives of life and existence." 

Some of the many distinguished scholars who have visited the campus through the program in the past include theologian Dr. Martin E. Marty of the University of Chicago Divinity School; Dr. Phyllis Trible of Union Theological Seminary; Dr. Jon D. Levenson of Harvard University; Dr. Daniel Maguire of Marquette University; Dr. Allen Verhey of the Divinity School at Duke University; and John Webster of the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy of King's College of the University of Aberdeen. 

Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., between 10th and 12th streets.