Pepperdine Professor to Deliver Annual Wamble Lecture on Religious Liberty Nov. 16

Nov. 15, 2007

by Devany Severin, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Dr. J. Christopher Soper, professor of political science at Pepperdine University, will deliver a lecture titled "Muslims in Europe: Singing God's Song in a Strange Land" as a part of the annual Hugh and Beverly Wamble Lecture on Religious Liberty from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16, in room 116 of the Draper Academic Building. The event, which is hosted by the J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, is free and open to the public.

Soper has been recognized by the J. M. Dawson Institute for his research regarding church-state relations of Muslim communities in Europe. In his lecture, Soper will look at the different state policies in Europe and discuss how these societies have dealt with the particulars of Islamic practices, said Dr. Christopher Marsh, associate professor of political science and church-state studies and interim director of the J. M. Dawson Institute.

"There are tremendous implications of that research for America's policies regarding the specificities of Islam in our own society," Marsh said. "Understanding Islam is one of the most important topics in contemporary society after 9/11."

Soper is the Blanche E. Seaver chair in social science, professor of political science and executive director of the Center for Faith and Learning at Pepperdine. He received master's and doctoral degrees in political science from Yale University and has co-authored several books including Practicing their Faith: Muslims and the State in Britain and France and Faith, Hope, and Jobs: Welfare-to-Wok in Los Angeles. In addition, Soper has written numerous articles, essays and book reviews. His areas of academic interest include religion and politics, Muslims in the West and California politics.

In 1997, the J. M. Dawson Institute received a generous donation to establish the G. Hugh Wamble and Beverly C. Wamble Fund for Religious Liberty. In addition, the Institute received Dr. Wamble's extensive collection of theological and historical research, as well as his private papers and archives, which will be used to educate future generations of students.

For more information, call (254) 710-1510.

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