Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2008-09-18

Islam expert and author John L. Esposito will give two talks at Samford University Thursday, Oct. 9.

The topic of his keynote address at 7 p.m. in Wright Center Concert Hall will be "Is Terrorism Ever Permitted in Islam?" The Georgetown University professor will also speak on "The Future of Islam: Reform in the 21st Century" at 3:15 p.m. in Brock Forum, located in Dwight Beeson Hall.

The public is invited to the lectures, which are hosted by Samford's departments of religion and philosophy. Admission is free.

Dr. Esposito is author or co-author of 40 books on Islam, including Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think, What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam and World Religions Today.

Considered one of America's foremost experts on Islam, Esposito is professor of religion and international affairs and professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown. He is also founding director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown's Walsh School of Foreign Service. He is interviewed regularly by national print and broadcast media.

"Since the horrific events of 9/11, questions regarding the link between Islam and terrorism are being asked with increasing regularity," says Samford associate religion professor Dr. David R. Bains. "Having over 30 years experience in researching Islam, particularly its involvement in contemporary international affairs, Dr. Esposito is uniquely positioned to provide clear answers to such questions."

Bains has used Esposito's World Religions Today, in his world religions courses since 2002.

"John Esposito is one of the leading scholarly voices on Islam and its place in the modern world. Throughout his career he has sought to promote understanding between Christians and Muslims," says Bains.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.