Santa Clara University

2013-2014 President's Speaker Series

Eboo Patel

Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America

All too often, pundits and politicians invoke the specter of Islam as menacing and anti-American force. What is the solution to the problem of alarmist, hateful rhetoric, once relegated to the fringes, that has now become frighteningly mainstream? Can the forces of pluralism defeat the forces of prejudice?

April 9, 2014
7:30 p.m. @ Mayer Theatre
Eboo Patel

Eboo Patel is the founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based institution building the global interfaith youth movement. He was recently appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Initiatives, where he is working to realize the president's priority of interfaith cooperation.

He is the author of Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation. Patel holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. He writes “The Faith Divide,” a featured blog on religion for the Washington Post and has also written for the Harvard Divinity School Bulletin, the Chicago Tribune, and many other media outlets.

Released in 2012, his newest book, Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America is a history of American religious integration. It tells how, despite the current politically motivated anti-Muslim fervor, America's history of tolerance and eventual integration will prevail with Muslim Americans as well.

Patel serves on multiple religious and foreign relations advisory committees. He has spoken at the TED Conference, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, and at universities around the world. Patel is an Ashoka Fellow, part of a select group of social entrepreneurs whose ideas are changing the world, and was most recently selected to join the Young Global Leaders network of the World Economic Forum.


Watch Eboo Patel's Conversation