Sept. 24, 2009
Eboo Patel, founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core of Chicago, has released a brief video production praising Luther College as a model community where all people are treated with dignity.
The video on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJO17phgR4I, follows Patel’s presentation “Acts of Faith,” the 2009 Luther College Convocation Lecture which he delivered Thursday, Sept. 3, in the Center for Faith and Life on the Luther campus.
Patel is an internationally recognized writer and spokesperson on the spirituality and struggle of Muslim minorities in Western nations. He writes “The Faith Divide,” a featured blog for the Washington Post, and has also written for the Chicago Tribune and the Sunday Times.
At Luther, Patel hosted a question-and-answer session with students, faculty and other members of the community. An Interfaith Youth Core trainer presented “Religious Pluralism 101,” focusing on concepts of religious pluralism.
Patel’s lecture was in keeping with the college’s “Justice and Power” theme for Paideia, Luther's first-year interdisciplinary course. All Luther freshman students for 2009 read Patel’s latest book, “Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation,” as their summer reading assignment.
Born in Mumbai, India, Patel is a Muslim-American who holds the bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 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.