Esposito to lead Campbell lecture on pluralism, Christian-Muslim relations

January 22, 2013 | 3 Comments

BUIES CREEK - John Esposito, professor of religion and international affairs at Georgetown University, will deliver the Department of Religion Annual Lecture at Campbell University on Feb. 12, 2013. Sponsored by the Thomas F. Staley Foundation, the lecture will be held in Butler Chapel at 7 p.m. The public is invited.

Esposito will speak on “The Challenge of Pluralism: Christian-Muslim Relations in the 21st Century."

“I am excited to have someone with the national stature of John Esposito visit our campus,” said Glenn Jonas, chair of Campbell’s religion department.  “His story is itself interesting.  He grew up in an American Catholic family and spent 10 years in a monastery in pursuit of the monastic life.”

Esposito is also professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown and is founding director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding:  History and International Affairs in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.  At the College of the Holy Cross, he was the Loyola Professor of Middle East Studies, chair of the Department of Religious Studies, and director of the Center for International Studies.

In addition, he’s a consultant to the U.S. Department of State as well as to corporations, universities and media organizations across the world.  He has served as president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies and as vice chair of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy. He’s currently a member of the World Economic Forum's Council of 100 Leaders, and is a recipient of the American Academy of Religion's 2005 Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion and of Pakistan's Quaid-i-Azzam Award for Outstanding Contributions in Islamic Studies.

Esposito graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Antony College; a Master of Arts degree from St. John’s University; and a Ph.D. from Temple University.

He has written more than 30 books and is editor in chief of the four- volume “Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (1995).” He also edited “The Oxford History of Islam (1999,” “The Oxford Dictionary of Islam (2003)” and "The Islamic World: Past and Present (2004)."

For more information on this lecture, visit or call 1-800-334-4111, ext. 1675.


Too often we assume way too much about those different from us. Just because something is different doesn’t make it wrong. Get educated, and even if you don’t agree with someone else and their religion, respect them enough as a human being to accept that what one believes is also a part of who they are. The religion of Islam may very well go against Christian doctrine, but bigotry and discrimination is also going against the ministry of Jesus. We are called to share the love of Jesus through the Gospel yes, but not at the expense of dehumanization and ignorance.

By Jordan Zepher on January 29, 2013 - 1:17pm

Islam is anti-Christ and is not to be accepted by Christians.  We are not to tolerate any of the Koran. Our Word of God is the Holy Bible and Jesus Christ is our savior.  Scripture warns us not to associate with pagans or we will be in danger of death.  Either be a Christian or not.  God tells us to spread the Gospel of Christ, not to sit couches, eat grapes, and celebrate world religion and philosophy.

By daniels on January 25, 2013 - 8:59am

Too bad you invite a man (Esposito) who makes himself more important than the obvious problems of letting Islamists flourish in our free society who have the goal of bringing down all that is good (and no doubt bad) in our societies (Western) through Islamist law. Are we to give our students the ideas of those who see only their pluralistic views in lieu of the reality behind those views? Do your own study.  What is the difference between a moderate and a radical Muslim? What are their marks? 
-From an American Campbell living in Germany

By Tom Campbell on January 25, 2013 - 7:26am

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