Dr. Joe P. Dunn, Charles A. Dana Professor of History and Politics at Converse College and Islamic and Middle East specialist, will present a lecture on tolerant democratic ideals that exist within the Islamic faith this Thurs. (Nov. 20) at 7:30 p.m. in Hartness Auditorium on the Converse campus. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Ideas and Cultures program at Converse, which is designed to expand students’ exposure to ideas and works that have shaped culture.
“The image widely held in America about Islam as intolerant, militant, and authoritarian is quite incomplete,” explained Dr. Dunn. “Yes, that ‘fundamentalist’ element exists, as it does in all the world’s religions, but within the spectrum of Islamic expression is also the grounds for an Islamic political order consistent with Western ideals.” Dunn will discuss both historical and contemporary bases for a tolerant democratic Islam, which he contends is more normative for the one billion Muslims worldwide.
Besides teaching Islamic politics, Dunn has studied in and traveled throughout the Middle East from conservative Islamic regimes such as Saudi Arabia, to more moderate traditional ones such as Kuwait, to pluralist regimes such as Egypt, Lebanon, or Palestine. In his role as Executive Director of the Carolinas Committee on U.S.-Arab Relations, he edits a newsletter that deals with the Arab and Islamic world.
For more information regarding Dr. Dunn’s lecture, call (864) 596-9705.