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November 7, 2001

WORLD OF ISLAM SUBJECT OF VITERBO LECTURE DEC. 3

LA CROSSE, Wis—Nearly 1,400 years of Islamic history will be the subject of a talk Monday, December 3, by Fr. Bernard McGarty, who will discuss the cultural, political and theology of the world’s fastest growing religion which now claims to have more than one billion followers.

The multimedia presentation begins at 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre.

According to McGarty, who has given previous lectures on Jewish, Orthodox and Lutheran traditions, plans were in process to discuss Islam well before the September 11 World Trade Center tragedy, but the crisis which followed makes the presentation even more timely. "The current tension between followers of Islam, the threat of a worldwide ‘Jihad’, and the possibility of a prolonged war in Afghanistan, really require us to have a better understanding of this religious tradition and those who call themselves Muslims," McGarty said.

McGarty will analyze four periods of Islamic history, and the union between what he calls "Mosque and State" will be discussed as it exists today in several countries throughout the world. He will also compare the Qur’an to Jewish and Christian scripture, the Bible. A question and answer session will follow the 45-minute talk which is free and open to the public.

McGarty currently holds the title at Viterbo of Visiting Scholar in Ecumenical Studies.

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