Is religion a biological urge? What makes a belief sacred? What motivates a person to kill in the name of God?
These are just a few of the questions that addressed by Dr. Scott Atran when he delivered the keynote address for the first Ableson Religious Reconciliation Lecture on Feb. 4, 2013 in the USAO Ballroom at the University of Science and Arts.
Atran has traveled the world interviewing and, in some cases, living among known terrorists in order to better understand the motivations of those who kill in the name of God.
He published his findings in a book titled, Talking to the Enemy: Faith, Brotherhood, and the (Un)Making of Terrorists (2010).
The Ableson Religious Reconciliation Lecture is named in honor of USAO Alumni Hall of Fame member U.S. Navy Captain Bradford Edward Ableson.
A visionary in religious reconciliation, an architect of the modern model for military chaplains and a chaplain to President Bill Clinton, Ableson graduated magna cum laude from USAO in 1980.