MTSU professor emeritus to lead scriptures talk at...

MTSU professor emeritus to lead scriptures talk at Islamic Center

An MTSU professor emeritus will lead an upcoming community discussion on scriptures in three major world religions.

Dr. Ron Messier, former director of the MTSU University Honors Program, will serve as moderator for “God’s Books: Reading Scripture in Judaism, Christianity and Islam” from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, at the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, located at 2605 Veals Road.

Dr. Ron Messier

“I have seen a preview of what each speaker will present,” said Messier. “The audience will hear some very powerful statements about scripture.”

Messier, who also directs an archaeological study, the Moroccan-American Project at Aghorat, will welcome a variety of scholars who will present various points of view. They include:

  • Dr. Jamal Badawi, founder of the Islamic Information Foundation and a member of the Islamic Society of North America;
  • Dr. Ossama Bahloul, imam of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro;
  • Dr. Frederick Bauerschmidt, a Catholic theologian and chair of the Department of Theology at Loyola University in Baltimore, Md.;
  • Dr. Sally Holt, an associate professor of religion at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., and director of Central Baptist Theological Seminary’s satellite program in Nashville;
  • Father John Oliver, pastor of St. Elizabeth Orthodox Christian Church in Murfreesboro, a mission of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese; and
  • Dr. Rami Shapiro, an ordained rabbi, former adjunct professor of religious studies at MTSU and director of One River, a not-for-profit educational institution.

“Each of the speakers believes that the scriptures of his/her religious affiliation are, in some way, God’s books,” Messier said.

“There may be some similarities in their different approaches, but we should not be surprised if there are also some differences. After all, they represent a variety of religious traditions.”

This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are appreciated. For more information, call the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro at 615-890-1551 or send an email to

— Gina K. Logue (