Oklahoma Christian University will be welcoming theologian Miroslav Volf to speak at the annual McGaw lecture series this April about Muslim and Christian faith.
Volf, a Henry B. Wright professor of Systematic Theology at Yale University, accepted an invitation to speak from Oklahoma Christian professor of New Testament John Harrison to discuss the Muslim and Christian faiths.
“We wanted someone who would come and speak about Christian and Muslim self-understanding,” Harrison said. “In other words, how we understand Muslims and how Muslims possibly understand us as Christians.”
Last year’s McGaw lecture series was led by Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, who spoke about defending the Christian faith. Harrison said although it is important to know how to defend one’s faith, one must also be able to do it without hurting someone else in the process.
“Sometimes in the effort to defend one’s faith we sometimes degrade another’s faith,” Harrison said. “We wanted a balance from this pro-apologetics approach to defending Christian beliefs to a more nuanced understanding of a different faith.”
Freshman Anna Dindak said that current world events have created prejudice among Christians toward Muslims. Dindak also said that Christians need to learn more about the Islamic faith in order to treat them with love and respect.
“I definitely think that since there is a lot of persecution going on, a lot of people immediately write off Muslims as bad and as terrorists and as people we shouldn’t get along with instead of loving them as Christians should,” Dindak said.
Harrison said that students will benefit greatly from listening to Volf, and not only will be able to learn more about the Muslim faith, but will leave with a better understanding of how Christians should treat Muslims.
“I think this is a wonderful opportunity to be able to listen to a world-renowned theologian who is on the frontlines of dialogues between Muslims and Christians and self-understanding, in the hope of reducing hostilities toward one another,” Harrison said.
Dindak said that the event will help reduce prejudice and negative feelings towards Muslims.
“I think it will help to give a better understanding and perspective of the issue,” Dindak said. “It will help broaden our views of how we see Christians and how we see Muslims.”
Volf will speak in the McGaw Lecture April 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Hardeman Auditorium. Admission is free, but registration is required to guarantee a spot. To reserve tickets visit http://www.oc.edu/volf.