Media reports are filled with news of war, death and destruction. Are tensions in the world getting worse or better? Are these good times or bad?
Acclaimed author and professor Marc Gopin will sift through media-created perceptions and reality during California State University, Northridge’s annual Maurice Amado Foundation Lecture on Thursday, Feb. 20. The lecture is scheduled to take place at 7:30 p.m. at Temple Ramat Zion at 17655 Devonshire St. in Northridge.
Gopin was originally scheduled to give this lecture last October, but the event was rescheduled due to illness.
“Humans have a tendency to falsely exaggerate bad news and ignore good news,” Gopin said in anticipation of the October event. “The media machines know this and capitalize on those fears and tendencies. But the scientific reality is that violence across the globe has been plummeting in recent decades, but really consistently and slowly for a couple of hundred years. Research is providing some good foundations for the trends, and it seems clear that our values and our attitudes, our very thoughts, have a substantial impact on the global future, especially because Jewish culture and major thinkers have always had such an outsized effect on Abrahamic cultures and their futures.”
The Amado Lecture is part of CSUN’s Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Program’s continuing effort to engage the San Fernando Valley community in discussions about Jewish ethics and important contemporary issues. This year, the lecture is co-sponsored by Temple Ramat Zion, Northridge United Methodist Church, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and the Islamic Center of Northridge.
“I first heard Dr. Gopin speak about this issue 15 years ago when I was a student, and his pragmatic, compassionate and thoughtful approach has stayed with me all this time,” said Jennifer Thompson, the Maurice Amado Assistant Professor of Applied Jewish Ethics and Civic Engagement in CSUN’s Jewish studies program. “I hope audience members at the Amado Lecture will feel the same way.”
The lecture is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. For more information or to reserve a seat, call (818) 677-4724 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marc Gopin is the director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution and the James J. Laue Professor at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. He is also co-owner of MEJDI, a peace tourism business that embraces the multiple narratives of indigenous peoples. Gopin has pioneered projects across the Middle East. He received his doctorate in ethics from Brandeis University and rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University. He is also the author of five books, including “To Make the Earth Whole: The Art of Citizen Diplomacy in an Age of Religious Militancy” and “Holy War: How Religion Can Bring Peace to the Middle East.”
The Maurice Amado Professorship of Applied Jewish Ethics and Civic Engagement was created two years ago to support teaching and scholarship drawn from the Sephardic, Ashkenazic and other Jewish traditions. Funded by a $500,000 endowment from the Maurice Amado Foundation, the Amado Professor also teaches courses that explore the Jewish ethical approach to communal and political challenges and hosts the annual Amado Lecture to expand awareness of ethical issues.
California State University, Northridge offers a major and a minor in Jewish studies. The program explores the rich heritage of the Jewish people. Using the methodology of different academic disciplines, it examines the experiences of Jewish people in the many lands in which they have lived during the past 4,000 years, as well as contemporary Jewish life in Israel, Europe, Asia and the Americas.