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APSU professor, to give series of talks on Middle East and religion

February 4, 2003

Over the next few months, an Austin Peay professor who is an established authority on the worlds primary religions will give a series of talks in Clarksville and Hopkinsville.

Dr. Bert Randall, professor of philosophy, begins a series of four lectures on "Holy Places in the Middle East" at the First Christian Church in Clarksville. The lectures, which begin at 6:30, will be preceded by a meal at 6 p.m., and followed by a discussion period. The four presentations are:
February 4, 2003

Over the next few months, an Austin Peay professor who is an established authority on the world's primary religions will give a series of talks in Clarksville and Hopkinsville.

Dr. Bert Randall, professor of philosophy, begins a series of four lectures on "Holy Places in the Middle East" at the First Christian Church in Clarksville. The lectures, which begin at 6:30, will be preceded by a meal at 6 p.m., and followed by a discussion period. The four presentations are:

Feb. 5 "Abraham's Three Quarrelsome Children: Jews, Christians and Muslims" explores the beliefs shared by these three great religions and concludes with an analysis of the Jihad in Islam.

Feb. 12 "Jewish Holy Places in Israel and Jordan" explores the Old City of Jerusalem, the tombs of Haggai and Malachi, the Wailing Wall and the tomb of Dame, as well as other places.

Feb. 19 "Christian Holy Places in Israel, Syria and Jordan" explores Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity; the Mount of Olives and Gethesemane and other places of Biblical significance.

Feb. 26 "Muslim Holy Places in Israel, Jordan and Syria" takes lecture participants to the great Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem and other sacred Muslim sites.

Randall also will be the guest speaker for the Hopkinsville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, located at Second and Main streets. Concluding with a discussion and refreshments, these services will begin at 10:30 a.m.:

Feb. 9: “Do Scriptures Really Fall from the Sky?”

Feb. 16: “The Intellectual Foolishness and Spiritual Immaturity of Literalism and Inerrancy”

March 16: “Myths, Legends, Sagas and Intuitive Truthsthe Spiritual Value of Creation Myths”

March 23: “Two Great Myths: The Yahwist's Dysfunctional Family and the Greek Sisyphus”

April 13: “How the World's Religions Are RelatedBert Randall's Religious Schizophrenia!”

April 20: “The Problem of the Trinity and the Mystery of Universalism: My Favorite HereticOrigen of Alexandria”

May 4: “ImmortalityEast and West”

May 11: “Miracles and MysticismGenuine Spiritual Experiences or Illusions?”

During his 31 years on the APSU faculty, Randall has given more than 50 scholarly presentations, including to three international conferences.

He is the author of two books: “The Mystery of Hope in the Philosophy of Gabriel Marcel, 1888-1972” and “Theologies of War and Peace Among Jews, Christians and Muslims,” and has authored numerous published articles.

During the past three decades, Randall has received several grants that enabled him to travel, study and live in Syria, Kuwait, Jordan, Israel, Egypt and Yemen.

“These countries are going to play a major role in foreign policy, and we're going to have troops there for a long time,” Randall said. “It's important that we have a greater understanding of the different problems and political situations each country faces.”

According to Randall, although the counties of the Middle East may be clumped together in the news, there are vast differences among them.

Randall earned a master of divinity degree in theology from Louisville (Ky.) Presbyterian Theological Seminary. His second master's degree and doctorate in philosophy are from the University of Oklahoma.

For additional information, telephone Randall at 7479.