Scholar-In-Residence, Reuven Firestone, to discuss "Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in Dialogue and Dissent" at Fairfield University

Image: Reuven FirestoneThe Carl & Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies at Fairfield University will present the fourth annual Judaic Studies Scholar-In-Residence lecture, by Reuven Firestone, Ph.D., on Thursday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Firestone, professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, will take on the timely topic of "Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in Dialogue and Dissent," in the Charles F. Dolan School of Business. Dr. Firestone's lecture is made possible by a gift from Edith and David Chaifetz and Praxair, Inc.

Dr. Reuven Firestone is also director of the Louchheim School of Jewish Studies and the Department of Graduate Studies at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Dr. Firestone has lived in Israel and traveled extensively throughout the entire Middle East. He has been involved in a variety of committees and commissions exploring Jewish-Muslim and Jewish-Arab relations in the United States. He has also served on the international "Voice of Peace" radio project. Dr. Firestone's areas of expertise include early Islam and its relationship with Jews and Judaism, and scriptural interpretation of the Bible and the Qur'an.

Born in Santa Rosa, Calif., in 1952, Reuven Firestone received his B.A. in sociology/anthropology (Middle East area studies) in 1974 from Antioch College. He earned his M.A. in Hebrew Literature and History in 1980 from Hebrew Union College. Ordained a rabbi in 1982 by HUC-JIR, he received his Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies from New York University in 1988.

Dr. Firestone taught Hebrew literature and directed the Hebrew and Arabic language programs at Boston University from 1987 to 1992. Prior to joining HUC-JIR in 1993, Dr. Firestone was awarded the Yad Hanadiv Research Fellowship at the Hebrew University, where he did research on holy war in Islamic tradition. In 2000, Dr. Firestone was awarded a fellowship for independent research from the National Endowment for the Humanities for research on holy war in Judaism. In 2002 he was made a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies and the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition to authoring numerous articles on Judaism, Islam, and comparative studies between Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Dr. Firestone has also written the books "Journeys in Holy Lands: The Evolution of the Abraham-Ishmael Legends in Islamic Exegesis" (SUNY Press), "Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam," (Oxford University Press), "Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Judaism for Muslims" (Ktav). Dr. Firestone has been published in a variety of publications, including "The Journal of Semitic Studies," "The Journal of Near Eastern Studies," "The Journal of Religious Ethics," "The Journal of the American Academy of Religion," and "The Journal of Jewish Studies."

There is no charge for admission to the lecture; however, reservations are suggested. For information and reservations, please contact Judaic Studies at Fairfield University at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on September 24, 2003

Vol. 36, No. 33

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