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Internationally recognized expert to discuss Islam in America

Loyola press release - January 28, 2008

(New Orleans)—Loyola University New Orleans President Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D., recently announced that the first topic for the Spring 2008 President’s Forum on Current Issues and Controversies is “The Qur’an, A New American Scripture,” by Jane McAuliffe, Ph.D., an internationally recognized expert on the Qur'an. The forum is scheduled for Wednesday, January 30, at 7 p.m., in Nunemaker Auditorium, Monroe Hall, Loyola University main campus.

The President’s Forums seek to explore and discuss some of the most compelling contemporary issues facing society today, such as Islam’s recent prominence on the American religious scene and the difficult issues this raises. In the changing religious demography of the U.S., Islam, in recent decades, has emerged as a major player. Thus, the Qur'an now takes its place alongside the New Testament, the Hebrew Bible, and other similar works, as an American Scripture. In this illustrated lecture, McAuliffe will focus on major themes of the Qur'an and tackle some of the related issues, such as violence, democracy and pluralism, and the status of women.

McAuliffe served for ten years on the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims. She recently completed the six-volume Encyclopedia of the Qur'an, the first such reference work in a Western language. She has served as president of the American Academy of Religion, the world’s largest association of professional religious scholars. She has also been on the boards of the Association of Theological Schools and the Center for Applied Research on the Apostolate. She is the dean of Georgetown College at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by Loyola University President, Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J, Ph.D., and featuring internationally recognized scholars, the forum’s goal is to develop a dialogue with the larger community that can help us to deepen our understanding and challenges us to move toward a more just and enlightened society.

For more information on the President’s Forum, visit www.loyno.edu/presidentialforum or contact the Office of Public Affairs at (504) 861-5888 or publaff@loyno.edu