Shreveport theologian to explore the disappearing middle ground in religion

Dec 2, 2014

A lecture Tuesday will explore how interfaith dialogue can help people better understand one another in an effort to find common ground. Centenary College’s Christian Leadership Center presents religion professor Peter Huff who is an expert on religious fundamentalism. Huff will pose this question in his final community lecture:

Catholic theologian and historian Peter Huff says he's wondering whether the South can still lay claim to the "Bible Belt" label as its seen tremendous growth in residents from diverse religions.
Credit Kate Archer Kent

“What do you do with interfaith dialogue in this new age where religious extremism seems to be thriving and  replicating in new and unpredictable ways, and where nonbelief might become the norm in Western society,” Huff said, who holds the T.L. James Eminent Scholars Endowed Chair of Religion at Centenary College.

Huff, a Catholic theologian, says his lecture will sum up his research after 14 years in Centenary’s religious studies department. His latest book titled “What Are They Saying About Fundamentalisms?” is published by Paulist Press. Huff is leaving Centenary this month to become a religion professor at University of Mary in North Dakota.

Huff argues that religious extremism has defined this century and Americans are having a difficult time wrapping their heads around it.

“It seems like the mainstream is no longer the spiritual or intellectual glue that holds at least our country together, and I think you can make the case on a global scale,” Huff said.

Huff is the author of books on the history of Christian thought, religious pluralism in the U.S., and dialogue among world religions. He holds a doctorate in historical theology from Saint Louis University.

Tuesday’s lecture is titled, “Interfaith Dialogue in the Age of ISIS and Atheism.” It takes place in Centenary’s Kilpatrick Auditorium beginning at 7 p.m. It’s free and open to the public.