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     THE MIDDLE EAST: WHY IS THIS LAND HOLY?


Contact:           
Bridget Clark
bclark@stac.edu
                       

THE MIDDLE EAST: WHY IS THIS LAND HOLY?
Public Lecture Hosted by Br. David Carroll, F.S.C. Discusses the History of The Holy War
         
(Sparkill, NY – March 30, 2010) Brother David Carroll, F.S.C., Aquinas Chair of Catholic Studies will host a lecture entitled "The Middle East: Why is This Land Holy?" on Wednesday April 14 at 7:30 p.m., announced Dr. L. John Durney, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The event will be held in the Romano Student Alumni Center on campus and is free and open to the public.

“The region of the Middle East has been referred to by historians as the "Cradle of Civilization" and by others as the "Fertile Crescent".  Within this area are many lands that are holy to various faith believers.  However, those same historians could as readily have called it the "Crucible of Civilization" for within its borders the concept of "holy war" has been part of that fractious history as well,” commented Brother David.

The lecture will examine the history of "holy war" as it relates to holy land.  “Prophets of the ancient Israelites, speaking on behalf of Yahweh called for the destruction of Israel's enemies.  This prophetic nationalism became a part of the Christian Crusaders' ethos of holy war in their motto DEUS LO VULT (God wills it). To this very day the term Crusades raises considerable anger with Middle Easterners who suffered from the Crusaders and modern colonialism and imperialism of the West. That has raised the call for jihad, Islam's version of holy war which daily greets us in our news media. How can holy war and holy land coexist?”       
                                                              
Brother Austin David Carroll, FSC, Ph.D., a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, is the Assistant to the Secretary General of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) - a papal agency for humanitarian and pastoral support. He also serves a Chair of the Board of Trustees for St. Thomas Aquinas College. Brother Carroll received his B.A. from Catholic University of America, his M.A.T. from Brown University and his Ph.D. from New York University. As Aquinas Chair for Catholic Studies, Brother David is teaching two courses at the undergraduate level, Science and Religion and Catholic Traditions in a Global Context, during the Spring 2010 semester.

St. Thomas Aquinas College is an independent liberal arts college located in Sparkill, NY which provides education at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  The College’s 2,700 full and part time students can choose from almost 100 different majors, minors, specializations, and dual degree programs across five divisions: Humanities; Business Administration; Social Sciences; Natural Sciences & Mathematics; and Teacher Education programs. For more information visit www.stac.edu.

 
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St. Thomas Aquinas College
125 Route 340
Sparkill, NY 10976
845.398.4100

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