Wright State University emeritus professor David Barr will discuss “The Politics of End Times” when he delivers the 2014 Piediscalzi Lecture on Wednesday, April 2.
The lecture, “Jerusalem, Jesus and Jihad: The Politics of the End Times,” will be held 4–5:30 p.m., in the Discovery Room in the Student Union. It is free and open to the public
Barr, Ph.D., is emeritus professor of religion and the former chair of the Department of Religion, Philosophy and Classics. He was named the Brage Golding Distinguished Professor of Research from 2004 to 2006. He recently completed a semester as scholar in residence at John Carroll University, where he did research and lectured on Jewish, Christian and Muslim conceptions of the end times.
“Judaism, Christianity and Islam teach that the End of Days is coming, and they share remarkably similar end-time stories that focus on Jerusalem, involve the appearance of a savior from heaven, and culminate in a great final battle: Jerusalem, Jesus, Jihad,” Barr said. “And some in each tradition believe that we are living in those end times, a belief that motivates them to take social, political and military actions that fit their end-time scenarios. Understanding these beliefs is a necessary prerequisite for making sense of contemporary religious conflicts—whether in the Middle East or the United States.”
Organized by the Department of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, the Piediscalzi Lecture Series was inaugurated in 1989 to honor Nicholas Piediscalzi, the founder and longtime chair of the Wright State Department of Religion. Piediscalzi came to Wright State in 1965, and it was under his guidance that the academic study of religion became an integral part of the curriculum. For 23 years Piediscalzi taught a variety of courses on the relation between religion and society.
The aim of the lecture series is to create an opportunity for members of the university community to join with Miami Valley residents to consider an aspect of the relation between religion and society.