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Dialogue Institute to Host Discussion Series About Muslim Americans

Dialogue Institute to Host Discussion Series About Muslim Americans

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Dialogue Institute will host the first session in a free five-part reading and discussion series called Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys. The program seeks to familiarize public audiences in the United States with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world. Funding for Let’s Talk About: Muslim Journeys is provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA).

For those who are interested in learning about world religions and culture, this is a wonderful opportunity to talk about the Muslim faith and to ask questions they may have about misconceptions of Islam. The goal is for audience members to acknowledge our differences in a respectful way, to seek to understand, and to share the things that we do have in common. The program builds tolerance, empathy, and understanding and allows us to walk in someone else’s shoes for a moment through shared dialogue.

Charles Kimball, Th.D. will lead a discussion of the book at each session. Dr. Kimball is Presidential Professor and Director of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. An ordained Baptist minister, he received his Th.D. from Harvard University in comparative religion with specialization in Islamic studies. 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.

“We are delighted to have been chosen to host this unique series that will allow the community a chance to discuss some important themes in Muslim history and literature with the help of a well-respected scholar such as Charles Kimball,” said Ersin Demirci, director of the Dialogue Institute.

The first program will explore The Columbia Sourcebook of Muslims in the United States edited by Edward E. Curtis, IV and will be held on Tuesday, October 1st at 7:00 pm. All programs will be held at the Raindrop Turkish House, 4444 N. Classen Blvd. in Oklahoma City. Books may be borrowed from this location as well.

Additional books will be discussed every three weeks. These books are Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel, October 22; A Quiet Revolution by Leila Ahmed, November 12; The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson, December 3; Prince Among Slaves by Terry Alford, December 17.

All of the books to be discussed in this series are part of the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys. The books and films comprising the Bookshelf were selected with the advice of librarians and cultural programming experts, as well as distinguished scholars in the fields of anthropology, world history, religious studies, interfaith dialogue, the history of art and architecture, world literature, Middle East studies, Southeast Asian studies, African studies, and Islamic studies.

For information about where to borrow books for the program or to register for an upcoming discussion, please contact Ersin Demirci at (405) 702-0222 or edemirciokc@gmail.com.

The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf is a project of NEH, conducted in cooperation with the ALA Public Programs Office, with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components was provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts. Local support is provided by the Oklahoma Humanities Council and the Dialogue Institute.

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