After Paris: Rep. Wesselhoft joins OU students for city event, OCU hosts dialogue

OKLAHOMA CITY – Two programs scheduled for Tuesday are among many local observances coming in wake of events in Paris.

State Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Oklahoma City, is joining a student group from the University of Oklahoma to honor victims of the terorrist attacks in Paris. At Oklahoma City University, Dr. Charles Kimball, a well-known scholar from OU, will deliver a lecture on Muslim-Christian dialogue.

The Holocaust Remembrance and Restitution Foundation, Inc., led by Eric Sundby, is co-sponsoring a multi-cultural and multi-religious candlelight vigil and memorial service to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris. The foundation is a student organization at the University of Oklahoma.

The event will be Tuesday (November 17) at 1:30 p.m. at the Oklahoma City National Memorial Survivor Tree. In a statement sent to this news organization, Rep. Wesselhoft said, “I will be participating at the memorial representing my colleagues in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. There will be other Representatives in attendance as well. Also, as an elected Representative of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, I will be representing Native Americans. There is a great and long history between France and the Potawatomi Indians of North America”.

“France is America’s oldest alley, and as victims of terrorism ourselves, we Oklahomans want to demonstrate our solidarity with the citizens of France. And they are in our prayers.”

At OCU, Dr. Kimball’s lecture on Muslim-Christian dialogue will be held at the Gold Star, Allison Hall on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. 

Dr. Charles Kimball is Presidential Professor and Director of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and holds the M.Div. degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

An ordained Baptist minister, he received his Th.D. from Harvard University in comparative religion with specialization in Islamic studies.

Dr. Kimball’s courses at OU include “Introduction to Religious Studies,” “Comparative Religion,” “World Religions in America,” “Conceptions of the Afterlife,” “Religion and Politics in the Middle East,” and “Islam.” He is a frequent lecturer in universities and church-related settings as well as an expert analyst on the Middle East, Islam, Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations, and the intersection of religion and politics in the U.S. Dr. Kimball taught for six years at Furman University where he also served as the Director for International Education.

From 1983-1990 he was the Director of the Middle East Office at the National Council of Churches, based in New York. He lived in Egypt in 1977-78, has made more than 35 visits to the Middle East and worked closely with Congress, the White House and the State Department during the past 30 years. His articles have appeared in a number of publications, including Sojourners, The Christian Century, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Boston Globe. He is the author of five books.

Since September 11, 2001, Dr. Kimball has been interviewed by more than 700 TV and radio stations as well as major newspapers and broadcast outlets throughout the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, France, Sweden, Australia and South Africa.