'Acts of Faith' author Eboo Patel to speak at Luther on Sept. 3

August 21, 2009

Eboo Patel, founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core of Chicago, will present "Acts of Faith," the 2009 Luther College Paideia Lecture on Thursday, Sept. 3, 9:40 a.m. in the Center for Faith and Life on the campus of Luther College.

Patel will host a question-and-answer session on Sept. 2, 7 p.m. in the Center for Faith and Life. Both programs are free of cost and open to the public.

Patel's lecture is in keeping with the college's theme for Paideia, the first year interdisciplinary course, "Justice and Power." Patel is a vocational speaker whose visit is sponsored by the Lilly Vocation group.

Patel's presentation will include features from his book, "Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation," published in 2008. All freshmen students have read this book as their summer reading assignment.

The book reveals Patel's coming-of-age experience as a Muslim in the United States and expresses his desire to create a more just and peaceful world.

An internationally recognized spokesperson and authority on the spirituality and struggle of Muslim minorities in Western nations, Patel will also discuss the idea that the energy and enthusiasm of young believers must be caught and channeled towards an ethic of religious pluralism in order for a just world to become a reality.

Born in Mumbai, India, Patel is a Muslim-American who attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he received his bachelor's degree. He went on to Oxford University where he received his doctoral degree in the sociology of religion studying as a Rhodes Scholar.

He is an Ashoka fellow and was recently appointed by President Barack Obama to the advisory council of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Initiatives. In addition, he writes "The Faith Divide," a featured blog for the Washington Post and has also written for the Chicago Tribune and the Sunday Times.

Patels lecture is the major lecture for the first year interdisciplinary core course Paideia I. Students will have the opportunity to engage in some of the kinds of reflection and dialogue he calls for in his work "Acts of Faith."

Interfaith Youth Core Event

An Interfaith Youth Core trainer will offer campus presentations about religious pluralism and interfaith service events. The public is invited to a presentation titled "Religious Pluralism 101" on Thursday, Sept. 3, 6:30-8 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Center for Faith and Life.

There is no charge for admission.

The presentation will focus on the basic concepts of religious pluralism, current threats to religious pluralism, and the need for its acceptance. The Sept. 3 presentation encourages trainees to become interfaith advocates who reframe conversations about religion using the religious pluralism lens.

Eboo Patel