One of the great professors I’ve had the privilege to work with at Wake Forest is Charles Kimball. He was a professor of religion here from maybe the mid 90s to the late 00s. He was a favorite of students and we frequently asked him to speak to on campus groups of visiting parents and families. Charles’ expertise was Islam and part of his remarkable experience came as one of the negotiators in Iran during the hostage crisis of the Jimmy Carter era.
After 9-11 he literally did hundreds of radio and TV interviews because of his extensive knowledge of Islam. He later wrote a book called When Religion Becomes Evil which focused on how extremism (in any religion, Christian, Islam, Judaism) can lead to dire consequences. His book was fascinating and whenever we had him speak to groups of people, they were riveted.
Charles returned to his home state of Oklahoma and is Presidential Professor and Director of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He has a new book out now, When Religion Becomes Lethal. I found out that he will be in Atlanta this coming Wednesday to speak at First Presbyterian Church at 7 pm on “When Religion Becomes Lethal.” A rabbi and imam will offer responses to the presentation.
If you are a Wake Forester in the Atlanta area and have an interest in what he calls “the explosive mix of politics and religion in Christianity, Judaism and Islam,” go hear Dr. Kimball speak. You won’t regret it.