Luther's Book Shop presents book signings during homecoming

The Luther College Book Shop will host book-signing sessions Saturday, Oct. 17, as part of Luther's homecoming weekend of events. Six members of the Luther community including Doug Eckheart, Luther professor emeritus of art; Allisa (Vanderpool) Vermillion, class of 1990; Chris Norton, class of 2014; Robert Shedinger, Luther professor of religion; Todd Green, Luther associate professor of religion; and Tabita Green, Luther director of web content; will sign copies of their books at the Book Shop located in the Dahl Centennial Union on Luther's campus.

The events, open to the public with no charge for admission, start at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, with Eckheart and Vermillion signing copies of their books: Eckheart's "Eye Training: A Beginner's Drawing Book" and Vermillion's "Beyond Farewell."

"Eye Training" provides learners with a series of visual exercises Eckheart likes to call "visual calisthenics" in order to direct fundamentals and practice to improve skill level.

Eckheart, Luther professor emeritus of art, has presented more than 75 one-person exhibits and 40 group shows in New York City, Chicago and Des Moines, as well as Malta and Norway. Eckheart teaches workshops in drawing and painting in the art gallery/studio/workshop space that he opened in 2010 in downtown Decorah.

Vermillion's "Beyond Farewell" provides insight into managing grief including negotiating through the grief process; communicating news of loss; planning and personalizing memorial and funeral services; and managing loved one's finances and belongings.

Vermillion works as an ILG Solutions Consultant at IBM aligning companies to assess how IBM may engage with them to lower risk and better utilize both structured and unstructured data. She has more than 24 years of experience in information management, electronic discovery, international project management and software development.

From 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Norton, along with his father Terry Norton, will sign copies of their book "The Power of Faith When Tragedy Strikes."

The book, told through alternating chapters of father and son, recounts Chris Norton's quest to regain movement in every part of his body following a spinal cord injury during a football game in 2010 and a father's struggle to be the rock his son and family needed to lean on.

In his first semester at Luther Chris Norton fractured his C3-C4 vertebrae during a kickoff return of an October football game. From waking up the day after surgery not being able to move anything below his neck to four-and-a-half years later being able to walk across the stage on graduation day with assistance, Norton has depended on the idea that with faith, hard work and determination anything is possible.

From 1:30-2:30 p.m. Shedinger, Green, and Green will sign copies of their books, Shedinger's "Jesus and Jihad: Reclaiming the Prophetic Heart of Christianity and Islam" and "Was Jesus a Muslim?: Questioning Categories in the Study of Religion;" Todd Green's "The Fear of Islam: An Introduction to Islamophobia in the West;" and Tabita Green's "Her Lost Year: A Story of Hope and Vision for Optimizing Children's Mental Health."

"Jesus and Jihad" argues that in early Muslim sources Jihad stood for the struggle to transform a violent pre-Islamic society into one with greater levels of justice and peace in contrast to our current connotations of the word Jihad. Shedinger's "Was Jesus a Muslim?" leads a series of provocative challenges to the disciplines of religious studies and comparative religions for a more accurate and respectful understanding of faith.

Shedinger teaches in the areas of biblical studies, Islamic studies, and science and religion. His research interests revolve around the question, "What is religion?"

Todd Green's "The Fear of Islam" expands on the historical roots and contemporary forms of religious anxiety regarding Islam within the Western world as well as the clash of civilizations that proliferated in the post 9/11 era.

Todd Green teaches courses on the history of Christian traditions, Islam in the West, and interfaith dialogue. His research focuses on Islamophobia, secularization and interfaith dialogue in the West.

Tabita Green's "Her Lost Year" relays the intimate story of despair, recovery and hope surrounding her daughter's year of uphill psychiatric battles. Green discusses what she learned concerning psychiatry in the United States, especially related to kids and teens, and our cultural norm of medications as a first, rather than last, resort.

Tabita Green manages the team of web content coordinators and web designers that creates, maintains and optimizes the luther.edu website. She is also responsible for paid online marketing and reporting.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,400, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.

Chris Norton at Commencement