Book Talk | Truth Over Fear: Combating the Lies About Islam
Christianity and Islam, the two largest religious traditions on earth, claim as adherents nearly one-half of the world’s population. The ways in which Christians and Muslims interact in the 21st century will have a profound impact on both communities—and the world. This presentation will focus on the growing problem of Islamophobia in the West, identifying major factors that contribute to this dangerous dynamic. While there are no easy answers or simple solutions, there are valid reasons for hope as we move forward on the perilous journey ahead. An overview of the historical background and constructive developments in the 19th, 20th and 21st century provide a foundation for developing meaningful ways people of faith and goodwill can—and must—work together to shape a more healthy and hopeful future for our increasingly interdependent and pluralist communities, nations, and world.
Dr. Charles Kimball is Presidential Professor and Chair Emeritus in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. Between 1996 and 2008, he served as Chair of the Department of Religion (1996-2004) and Professor of comparative religion in the Department of Religion and the Divinity School at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. An ordained Baptist minister, he received his Th.D. from Harvard University in the comparative religion with specialization in Islamic studies.
Dr. Kimball’s courses at OU and as a visiting professor in colleges and seminaries include: “Introduction to Religious Studies,” “Comparative Religion,” “World Religions in America,” “Conceptions of the Afterlife,” “Religion and Politics in the Middle East,” and “Islam.” He is a frequent lecturer in universities and church-related settings as well as an expert analyst on the Middle East, Islam, Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations, and the intersection of religion and politics in the U.S.
From 1983-1990 he was the Director of the Middle East Office at the National Council of Churches. Over the past 40 years, Kimball 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 30 years. In 1984, he founded Churches for Middle East Peace.
His articles have appeared in a number of publications, including Sojourners, The Christian Century, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Boston Globe. He is the author of six books, including When Religion Becomes Lethal: The Explosive Mix of Politics and Religion in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2011). His previous book, When Religion Becomes Evil: Five Warning Signs (HarperOne, rev. ed. 2008), was named one of the “Top 15 Books on Religion” by Publishers Weekly and one of the top ten books of the year by the Association of Parish Clergy.
Dr. Kimball’s most recent book, Truth Over Fear: Combating the Lies About Islam, was published by Westminster John Knox Press in August, 2019.