Expert on U.S.-Muslim relations to open Danforth Center on Religion & Politics lecture series

Spring series runs Jan. 18-March 1

An expert on Muslim-American relations will give the first lecture in the spring 2012 series sponsored by the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.


Edward E. Curtis IV, PhD, the Millennium Chair of the Liberal Arts & professor of religious studies and of American studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), will speak on “Muslim-American Dissent and U.S. Politics Before and After 9/11” at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, in the Women’s Building Formal Lounge.

Since 9/11, Curtis has lectured frequently in the United States, Europe and the Middle East about the role of Islam and Muslims in U.S. history and contemporary affairs.

Author of the two-volume Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History (2010), he also has contributed interviews and articles on the subject to The New York Times, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, National Public Radio, and The Immanent Frame, among other media outlets.

The lecture series, which is free and open to the public, also features Parker Palmer, Melani McAlister, Jonathan Walton and Andrew Preston. The full schedule follows. All lectures take place at 4:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 10, Graham Chapel

Parker Palmer, PhD, best-selling author, educator and Center for Courage & Renewal founder and senior partner, will read from his new book, Healing the Heart of Democracy. A book signing will follow.

Later that evening, Palmer, singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer and pianist Gary Walters will offer a concert and spoken word event. The Danforth Center on Religion & Politics is co-sponsoring these events with the Office of Residential Life, the Assembly Series and the Gephardt Institute for Public Service.

Thursday, Feb. 16, Knight Center, Room 211
Melani McAlister, PhD, associate professor of American studies, international affairs, and media and public affairs at The George Washington University, will give a lecture titled “U.S. Evangelicals and the Congo Crisis of 1960-64: The Politics of Race, Revolution and Persecution in Decolonizing Africa.”

Thursday, Feb. 23, Knight Center, Room 211
Jonathan Walton, PhD, social ethicist and African-American religious studies scholar from Harvard Divinity School, will give a lecture titled “Stop Worrying and Start Sowing! The Ethics of a ‘Recession-Proof’ Gospel.” 

Thursday, March 1, Knight Center, Room 200
Andrew Preston, PhD, senior lecturer in American history from Cambridge University, will give a lecture titled “The Religious Influence in American War and Diplomacy: A History.”

To RSVP and to view an updated event schedule, visit

In addition, the Danforth Center on Religion & Politics is supporting an international conference on “The Enlightenment Pope: Benedict XIV, 1675-1758.” This conference, to be held April 30-May 2, will bring together distinguished international scholars to discuss the life and times of Benedict XIV.

Registration is open to the public and available on the conference website