CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 2, 2000
Croatian author, theologian gives October Geneva Lecture Series Lecture
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Croatian author and theologian Miroslav Volf will visit
the University of Iowa as the guest speaker for the Geneva Lecture Series
at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 at the Becker Communications Studies Building. The
talk, "Forgiveness, Justice and Reconciliation," is free and open
to the public.
As a young man in Communist Yugoslavia, Volf saw firsthand the ethnic frictions
that turned bloody after the breakup of the country.
"An important factor in the war was the drive for pure identities --
hence the term ethnic cleansing. Persons belonging to the other ethnic groups
would be swept away like dirt so that one could have a 'clean' ethnic house.
Since we live in a world that is inhabited by many groups, the desire for
pure identities leads inescapably to violence and bloodshed," he says.
Volf began searching for a resolution to the tension that existed in him
between the "natural instinct to fight for your rights" and the
teaching of his Pentecostal parents "that the enemy is there to be loved."
His quest took the form of theological reflection, which soon caught the
attention of the academic world. Volf, 44, began a new teaching position as
Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale University in 1998 following
seven years of teaching at Fuller Seminary. He maintains ties to his homeland
by serving as visiting professor of systematic theology on the Evangelical
Theological Faculty in Osijek, Croatia, his alma mater. After studying at
Osijek, Volf attended Fuller Seminary and the University of Tubingen in Germany
where he received his doctoral and postdoctoral degrees under renowned theologian
The Geneva Lecture Series has been bringing speakers to the UI and Iowa
City to speak on a wide range of topics from a Judeo-Christian perspective
since 1976. Volf's visit is co-sponsored by the Center for Russian, East European
and Eurasian Studies, UI Center for Human Rights and nearly 20 UI religious
organizations and churches in Iowa City.
For more information, contact Jason Chen, Convenor, Geneva Lecture Committee,