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October 2006

Release Date: October 24, 2006

ASU Holland Symposium to Examine Religion, Political Extremism

Religion and politics, often two of the public's most emotionally charged issues, will be explored by two noted scholars during the 2006 E. James Holland Symposium on American Values, Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 30-31, at Angelo State University.

Dr. Scott Appleby, professor of history at Notre Dame University, and Dr. Jeffrey Kaplan, associate professor of religion at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, will discuss the links between religion and political extremism in America and abroad, as well as the ongoing controversy over what role religion should play in civic life and the formation of personal values.

The two speakers will focus on the theme "Religion and Political Extremism in American Society" during public and classroom presentations. Appleby, whose research focuses on definitions of religious extremism and what ignites it, will give his lecture "Extremism: A Modern Mode of Religious Survival?" at 2 p.m. Monday. Kaplan, author of Religious Resurgence and Political Violence, will speak on "Religious Extremists and Oppositional Subcultures in the Age of Globalization" at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Both scholars will also participate in a panel discussion on religious and political issues at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The lectures and panel discussion are open free to the public in the C.J. Davidson Conference Center in the Houston Harte University Center at ASU.

Appleby currently serves as the John M. Regan Jr. Director of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame. He is the author of Church and Age Unite! The Modernist Impulse in American Catholicism and The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence and Reconciliation. He also served as a consultant for the PBS film and NPR radio series on The Glory and the Power: The Fundamentalist Challenge to the Modern World.

Kaplan teaches a variety of related courses at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, including American radicalism, terrorism and religious violence in global perspective, and radical religion in America. Having lived in Bulgaria, Iran, Pakistan, Czechoslovakia, Sudan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the West Bank, he brings a truly global experience and perspective to the topic of religion and political violence. He serves on the editorial board of Terrorism and Political Violence, a journal that explores the political meaning and religious motivation of terrorism.

For more information, contact Dr. Bill Montgomery at 942-2068, Ext. 245.