NORMAN — Eboo Patel, one of the nation’s leading scholars in religion and interfaith studies, will speak at a President’s Associates dinner at the University of Oklahoma on Monday, Sept. 9. Prior to dinner, Patel will meet with OU students for an informal discussion.
Named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders, Patel is the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based organization that promotes interreligious understanding on college campuses nationwide.
The Interfaith Youth Core helps college students learn about religious differences and find common bonds among their faiths. In addition, the Youth Core works with colleges across the country to develop new courses and to teach students how to handle questions about their own faith while they work to understand the practices of others.
“Eboo Patel is one of the most important leaders around the globe in the effort to strengthen interfaith dialogue, and mutual respect and understanding between different religious groups,” said OU President Davis L. Boren. “Clearly, religious intolerance is a major cause of violence in the world in which we live. His cause should become the cause of all of us.”
Patel has authored two books: Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America and Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, which won the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion; and has a third, forthcoming book,Interfaith Leadership: A Primer. He is also a regular contributor to the Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, NPR, and CNN.
He was an Ashoka Fellow, part of a select group of social entrepreneurs whose ideas are changing the world; and was recently awarded the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, an award given to an individual to enhance awareness of the crucial role of religious dialogue in the pursuit of peace.