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Philosophy prof releases 4th book, ‘Holy Scriptures as Justifications for War'

Another scholarly book by Dr. Albert Randall, professor of philosophy at Austin Peay State University, was released this month by The Edwin Mellen Press.

Titled Holy Scriptures as Justifications for War: Fundamentalist Interpretations of the Torah, The New Testament and the Quran, it is Randalls fourth book, three of which deal with various aspects of the worlds three major monotheismsChristianity, Judaism and Islam.
Another scholarly book by Dr. Albert Randall, professor of philosophy at Austin Peay State University, was released this month by The Edwin Mellen Press.

Titled “Holy Scriptures as Justifications for War: Fundamentalist Interpretations of the Torah, The New Testament and the Qur'an,” it is Randall's fourth book, three of which deal with various aspects of the world's three major monotheismsChristianity, Judaism and Islam.

In promotional materials, the publisher wrote: “This study explores literalism and inerrancy as the interpretive basis for some Jewish, Christian and Muslim justification of acts of violence. In the end, an argument is made, on historical, scriptural, moral and theological grounds, rejecting Holy War as a perversion of God's creation.”

Dr. Anne M. Edwards, professor of philosophy, American Public University System, said, “Professor Randall's is a voice of sanity amidst the current fundamentalist Christian and Muslim literalist arguments using their holy books to justify ‘holy war' against each other.”

Dr. Richard Gildrie, APSU professor of history, said, “Transcending the merely hortatory, this work's particular virtues are the range and depth of its analysis. At its core, the work evinces an easy but sophisticated familiarity with the Qur'an, along with the appropriate interpretive scholarship, derived from years of studying and teaching comparative religion.”

Randall has authored three other books: “Strangers on the Shore: The Beatitudes in World Religions” (2006), “Theologies of War and Peace Among Jews, Christians and Muslims” (1998) and “The Mystery of Hope in the Philosophy of Gabriel Marcel, 1888-1972: Hope and Homo Viator” (1993).

During faculty professional development leave from APSU, Randall, a renowned scholar of world religions, traveled to and studied the cultures of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Kuwait, Yemen, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Although he has never been to Iraq or Iran, Randall has done extensive research on Shi'ite Islam, which is predominant in those countries.

During his 37 years at APSU, Randall has met with groups throughout the area, presenting talks on the differences and similarities among Muslims, Christians and Ba'hais.

Randall also has conducted sessions on Islam and Arabic cultures for various brigades at Fort Campbell, Ky., before they deployed to the Middle East.

In 2003, Randall was presented the Peace Award by the Nashville Ba'hai Spiritual Assembly, the local arm of the Universal House of Justice of Haifi, Israel. The award recognizes those who promote unity, toleration, diversity, compassion and respect among religions.”

According to Randall, the cover of this latest book was designed by Kim Balevre, an art student of David Bieloh, APSU assistant professor of art. Randall praised Balevre for taking his amateurish design and “creating a visual delight for the front cover.”

He also noted that Balevre's artwork representing a philosophical concept is a perfect example of faculty's efforts to provide their students with cross-disciplinary learning.

“When I first saw Kim's final design, I was at a loss for words,” Randall said. “Not only does it capture the heart and soul of the book, it is worthy of standing on its own as a superb theological and moral comment on religious violence.”

“Holy Scriptures as Justifications for War” retails for $109 per copy. However, it can be purchased through Randall for 60 percent less than retail. To get the special price, contact him by telephone at (931) 221-7479 or e-mail at randalla@apsu.edu. -- Dennie B. Burke