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Professor-expert on Islam, Muslims, Jihad-in high demand

10/9/2001
October 9, 2001

A year ago when the USS Cole was bombed off the coast of Yemen, resulting in the deaths of several American sailors, an Austin Peay professor of philosophy with extensive expertise in the culture and religion of Mid-East countries volunteered to talk to interested groups and the media about the philosophy of the terrorists behind the attack.

Today, in addition to teaching classes at APSU, Dr. Bert Randall has a near-full calendar of speaking engagements. Already, he has fielded questions from callers on an hour-long talk show on WTVF-Channel 5 Plus, Nashville, as well as serving as a post-Sept. 11 panelist at APSU for a well-attended discussion of the Middle East.

During the next few weeks, Randall will be speaking on "Theologies of War and Peace Among Abraham's Children: Jews, Christians and Muslims" at the Madison Street United Methodist Church, Clarksville. Each discussion will be held between 6:30-7:30 p.m. The dates and topics are:

Oct. 10-"The Traditions of the Children of Abraham,"--An exploration of the beliefs and values shared by the three great monotheisms of Western history: Their relation to Abraham, a god who has no name, prophets, the Oneness of God and Holy Books.

Oct. 17-"War and Peace in the Hebrew Bible: From Yahweh the Warrior God to the Creator Eloh-im."

Oct. 24 - "War and Peace in the New Testament: The Eschatological Prince of Peace."

Nov. 7- "War and Peace in the Qur'an: The Peace of Submitting One's Life to God."

Nov. 14 - "Chosenness to Have or Chosenness to Be: An Apology for Peace among Jews, Christians and Muslims."

In late November and early December, Randall will give four lecture-slide presentations on Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy places in Israel, Jordan and Syria. For more information about these, call APSU's Extended Education Office at 7816.

With degrees in both philosophy and divinity, Randall is the author of the book, "Theologies of War and Peace Among Jews, Christians and Muslims," published in 1998. He has published more than two dozen scholarly articles and 100 newspaper columns, including "The Danger of Confusing Religious Fundamentalism with Extremism."

In the summer of 1999, Randall studied at the Qur'an with Muslim scholars at the Dar al Islam Mosque in New Mexico. In 1994, he studied for two months in Amman, Jordan, through a grant. In 1995 he traveled to Yemen with the National Council on U.S-Arab Relations and, through a grant from the Joseph J. Malone Foundation in Arabic and Islamic Studies, he traveled and studied in Kuwait and Syria.

Randall welcomes the opportunity to speak to any group-civic, community, church and educational. He said, "It is my hope that these talks will provide information to help overcome the anger and fear that almost always lead to bigotry and demonizing those who are different."

For more information or to ask Randall to serve as a guest speaker, call 7919.