‘Violence in the Name of Religion’ Focus of Twin Cities Forum

SIOUX FALLS – Dr. Murray Haar, Chair of the Department of Religion, Philosophy, and the Classics at Augustana College, is the featured speaker at the Twin Cities Thought Leader Forum on Monday, October 26.

The Augustana Thought Leader Forum is a three-part series that serves as a catalyst for insightful public discussion. Forum organizers believe than an informed and engaged citizenry is a valuable asset for the people in the region. This fall's forum is based on the topic: "Violence in the Name of Religion."

This is the first time one of the forums will also be available outside of Sioux Falls as Dr. Haar brings his presentation, "The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," to the Twin Cities.

The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the 317 on Rice Park Event Center in St. Paul, MN. Tickets, available at www.augietickets.com, are $25 and include Dr. Haar's talk, a Q&A session, and a buffet of heavy appetizers. This event is open to the public.

Catch a sneak peek of Dr. Haar's forum, as presented in Sioux Falls on Wednesday, September 23.

Dr. Murray HaarDr. Haar teaches courses dealing with Judaism and Islam, the Holocaust and Religion, Politics and Violence. He has published a number of articles dealing with the implications for religious faith/theology after the Holocaust, the relationship between the Holocaust and the State of Israel, and the effect of the Holocaust on Biblical interpretation and exegesis from both Jewish and Christian perspectives. He is presently working on a book dealing with inter-religious political dialogue between Jews, Christians and Muslims, as well as between Israelis and Palestinians. In particular Dr. Haar is investigating the question of how believers from varying traditions can respectfully disagree without eventually trying to kill each other.

For some years Dr. Haar, along with Drs. Sandra Looney and Peter Schotten taught a Capstone course entitled: “Light in the Darkness: Courage and Evil in the 20th Century.” These three professors were invited to address a conference at Yad Vashem, the Israeli memorial to the Holocaust, based on the work they had done in this course. Dr. Haar has frequently traveled to Israel and was most recently there in March of this year following the recent Israeli-Hamas conflict. He has also taken students to Israel to help them understand the political and religious situation in the region.

Recognized as one of the College's most interesting, challenging and dynamic professors, he has received numerous teaching awards, including the Burlington Northern Award for Outstanding Teaching, (1988); the Thomas H. Brown Distinguished Service Award (1994); the John P. Kohlmeier Distinguished Teaching award, (2002); and the Richard Niebuhr Award for Outstanding Teaching, (2005). During 1990-1993, Dr. Haar served as the Stanley L. Olson Chair of Moral Values.

Dr. Haar holds a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia.

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