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Book Discussion Series Takes 'Acts of Faith'

The Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma book discussion series at Oklahoma City University will continue at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 with “Acts of Faith” by Eboo Patel. The discussion will be held in Walker Center room 151 on Florida Avenue near N.W. 26th Street.

The discussion series is made possible through a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Council with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of its We the People initiative promoting scholarship, teaching and learning about American history and culture.

In “Acts of Faith,” Patel, an American Muslim and founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, ponders the defining moments of Islam and their importance in today’s society. He shows that the essential truths that people learn in their youth determines lifelong commitments, for good or ill. Patel notes that his passionate support of religious pluralism is “neither mere coexistence nor forced consensus. It is a form of proactive cooperation.”

The discussion series theme is Muslim Journeys: American Stories. Harbour Winn, director of the Center for Interpersonal Learning through Film and Literature at OCU, said that while the large presence of Muslims in the United States dates to the 1960s, Muslims have been a part of the history of America since colonial times as well as the slave trade that eventually led to the American Civil War.

“Muslims’ stories draw attention to ways in which people of varying religious, cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds interact to shape both their communities’ identities and our nation’s collective past,” Winn said. “The actual history of Muslims in America tells the story of people who are both Muslim and American, even if tension exists and challenges us as we strive to realize our founding ideals of equality and pluralism.”

At each session in the five-part series, a humanities scholar makes a presentation on the book in the context of the theme. Small group discussions follow with experienced discussion leaders. At the end, all participants come together for a brief wrap-up.

Those who are interested in participating are encouraged to preregister and borrow the reading selections and theme brochure by calling Winn at (405) 208-5472, e-mailing him at hwinn@okcu.edu or dropping by the Dulaney-Browne Library room 211 or 207.

Upcoming dates and books included in the series are:

* Feb. 25, “Quiet Revolution” by Leila Ahmed

* March 11, “The Butterfly Mosque” by G. Willow Wilson