Sept. 15, 2021 – Valparaiso, Indiana – Thomas Albert (Tal) Howard, Ph.D., professor of humanities and Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics, will discuss his recently published book on Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the Mueller Hall Refectory on Valparaiso University’s campus.
Howard’s book, “The Faiths of Others: A History of Interreligious Dialogues” (Yale University Press, 2021), analyzes several key turning points in the history of interfaith dialogue before examining the contemporary landscape.
During the discussion, he will be joined by Stephanie Wong, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology, and Mahan Mirza, Ph.D., executive director of the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion at the University of Notre Dame, who will each respond to the book.
Through endowed chairs and professorships, faculty members at Valparaiso University like Howard receive support to research their own academic interests and publish the findings. Howard’s research as Duesenberg Chair focuses on how the Christian, especially Lutheran, intellectual and moral traditions can be applied to today’s world.
As a professor in Christ College — The Honors College, Howard sparks larger conversations on the relationships between Christianity and other religions. In the fall of 2020, he taught a class that analyzed the historical perspectives of these relationships and their contemporary engagements — themes that are integral to his book.
“There are real differences among and within faith traditions, but we can still speak to one another with integrity about our religious convictions,” Howard said. “Valpo emphasizes these dialogues, but will benefit from knowing how the modern interfaith movement developed — which is the subject of my book.”
The Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics was established in 2000 and promotes the exploration, research, writing and teaching of the ethical implications of contemporary social issues from the Biblical perspective and the perspective of Lutheran symbolic writings.