Professor to speak on religious tolerance

T'Nerra Butler, Multicultural Editor

An anthropology class will be traveling around the Mediterranean area in a lecture opened to the community to let people in on religious tolerance in different cultures.

This lecture is at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in room 1165 in Blair Hall.

Angela Glaros, a professor of anthropology, said the anthology faculty at Eastern have applied and were awarded grants to improve undergraduate research and they use the incentive to bring in speakers.

Pavlos Kavouras, a professor and head, ethnomusicology and cultural anthropology, is this semester’s speaker and will discuss religious tolerance when it comes to Islam and Islamism.

In Kavouras’s abstract for the lecture, he said he would focus on cultural diversity through a reflection of religion and politics across the Mediterranean region. Kavoura said he would explore the issue of just tolerating a religion when it comes to the migration of Egyptians in the Mediterranean area, including those people traveling to Greece.

Glaros said Kavouras is now on a country tour to colleges and the first institution he visited was Harvard University.

Glaros said one topic Kavouras will bring up is the European Union and their policies on multiculturalism with the Syrian refugees journeying into their country. She said at this point in Europe most of the people want to see themselves as a democracy with a modern outlook on religion and the timing as well as the nature of the migration is why Kavouras is considering the topic to discuss.

Glaros said people have seen religious intolerance for years.

“Two words Spanish Inquisition, it was set up by the Catholic Church to basically make people convert to Christianity,” Glaros said. “What happened with World War II with the Holocaust is a dramatic example of religious intolerance, but it has a more complicated history.”

Glaros said the department brings in one speaker who has done research in an area of anthropology to increase people’s awareness of what they can do in the field; she said they do these each semester.

Don Holly, a professor of anthropology, started bringing in speakers around 2005 and he said a few of his students have sat in these lectures over the past years and now are doing the ones presenting in front of a class.

“Some of these talks end up impacting people’s lives,” Holly said. “It’s kind of fun to see how these talks come back around and influence people.”

Holly said they have these lectures in classrooms, but they are open to the community.

Glaros said this presentation will enrich the knowledge of what anthropology can contribute when understanding the human condition.

“We’re bringing a prestigious scholar who’s well known within the Anthropological literature on Greece,” Glaros said. “This university, because of our faculty has the ability to bring in world-class knowledge that EIU students get to take advantage of.”


T’Nerra Butler can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]