Posted on October 14, 2009 by Tia Lalani

Dr. F. Volker Greifenhagen invites Camrose residents to explore the Islam religion on October 19-21 through a series of lectures open to the public.

By Robin Galenza

Dr. F. Volker Greifenhagen invites Camrose residents to explore the Islam religion on October 19-21 through a series of lectures open to the public. Greifenhagen, Associate Dean of Luther College University, is the next Augustana Distinguished Lecturer invited to the Camrose area on behalf of the Chester Ronning Centre. He will be giving two lectures that explore religion in Canada.

Greifenhagen’s lectures will examine two different aspects of Islam in the modern world. The first lecture will address the idea of Convivencia, or coexistence, in Canada. La Convivencia was a period in time in Spain when Jews, Muslims and Catholics lived together in peace. Greifenhagen plans to delve into this issue through the popular Canadian television show, “Little Mosque on the Prairie.”

The second lecture will consist of reading certain Qur’an and Bible passages side-by-side to objectively see the similarities and the differences between the two. The Qur’an, the religious text of Islam, and the Bible hold similar stories but are often not seen objectively by those who follow either of these religions.

Greifenhagen believes in the importance of learning about religions other than one’s own. “Many find their own experience is enriched by other perspectives and world views.” He says, “You must widen the angle of your vision.”

Associate Professor, David Goa, Director of the Ronning Centre, believes it is important to offer this opportunity in the community. Goa explains that the centre is here to serve the entire region, not only the academic arena. Still, he encourages students to come and hear Griefenhagen speak about this issue, especially since Islam is a popular issue today.

“Part of being a student means the opportunity to think and learn about many things. You have three to four years to drink up knowledge, learn and engage in civil conversations about demanding issues and themes,” Goa adds.

Those who are interested in hearing Dr. Greifenhagen’s lectures will have two chances, as he is speaking both in Camrose and Edmonton. His first lecture "Little Mosque on the Prairie and Modern Convivencia” will be held on October 19th, in the Classroom Building, Room C104, from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. This lecture will be repeated on October 21st at King’s University College in Edmonton from 3:30- 5:00 p.m.

Greifenhagen’s second lecture “Isaac Reads (with) Ishmael: The Bible and the Qur’an” will be held on October 20th, at Messiah Lutheran Church from 12:30-2:00 p.m. This lecture will be repeated at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Edmonton on October 20th as well, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. For more information, please visit the Chester Ronning Centre website.


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