Relationship Between Islam and Christianity To Be Explored in RSU Lecture

The relationship between Islam and Christianity in modern society will be explored in the fourth annual Maurice Meyer Distinguished Endowed Lecture on Tuesday, April 8, at Rogers State University.

Dr. Joshua M. Landis, assistant professor of Middle Eastern history and Islam at the University of Oklahoma, will give the lecture, titled “Islam and Christianity: A Clash of Civilizations or a Clash of Politics?” The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 11 a.m. at Will Rogers Auditorium on the RSU campus in Claremore.

Landis has a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College, a master’s from Harvard University and a doctoral degree from Princeton University. He was raised in Beirut, Lebanon in the 1960s and returned to teach there in the 1980s. He also studied at the University of Damascus as a Fulbright Scholar.

Before joining the faculty at OU, he taught at Sarah Lawrence College, Wake Forest University and Princeton. He is fluent in Arabic and French and works in Turkish, Ottoman and Italian. He is finishing revisions on his manuscript, “Nationalism and Leadership in Syria, 1922-1950,” which the Middle East Studies Association named the best dissertation of 1997. Oxford Press has contracted with him to write a history of Syria during the 20th century. He has also published a number of articles on Syria and the Arab-Israeli Conflict in scholarly journals and edited books.

The Maurice Meyer Endowed Lectureship was established at RSU in 1999 as a tribute to Sergeant Maurice Meyer by his nephew, Irvin Frank of Tulsa.

Maurice Meyer was a member of Company A, 357 Regiment. He served with distinction as an officer of the 90th Division during the St. Mihiel campaign in France during World War I. He was mortally wounded by German shrapnel on September 23, 1918. He died the following day and was accorded a hero’s funeral in Tulsa on May 3, 1922.

In 1920 the first barracks were built on the campus of the Oklahoma Military Academy (RSU’s predecessor institution). The building was named the Maurice Meyer Barracks in honor of Oklahoma’s fallen war hero. Today, the same building, now Meyer Hall, houses the RSU administrative offices and the Oklahoma Military Academy Museum.

The Maurice Meyer Endowed Lectureship is held annually to honor the legacy of the Meyer family and to honor the life of an American who died defending freedom and democracy. The goal of the lectureship is to foster an appreciation for diversity and humanity and to promote tolerance and understanding of other cultures, people, and ideas.

For more information, call the RSU Office of Development at (918) 343-7773.