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Former National Security Council Director to Discuss Terrorism and Religion


September 23, 2005

DELAWARE, OHIO -- Former Director of Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council, Jessica Stern, will discuss "Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill," on Tuesday, September 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center Benes Room (40 Rowland Avenue). The lecture is part of the Sagan National Colloquium and also the John Kennard Eddy Lecture on World Politics, which is co-sponsored by the Department of Politics and Government and the International Studies Program.

Stern, a lecturer on public policy and a faculty affiliate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, served as Director of Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council from 1994-1995. She was responsible for national security policy toward Russia and the former Soviet states and for policies to reduce the threat of nuclear smuggling and terrorism. Stern hopes to tackle issues of understanding the motivations of terrorists and the relationship between terrorism and religion in her lecture.

For five years, Stern interviewed extremist members of the three major religions around the world. She traveled extensively – to refugee camps in Lebanon, to prisons in Amman, Ashqelon and Pensacola – and discovered that the Islamic jihadi in the mountains of Pakistan and the Christian fundamentalist bomber in Oklahoma have much in common. Her discussion will utilize her research and expand upon the topic of religion and terrorism. Stern is also the author of Terror in the Name of God (2003) and numerous articles on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

The John Kennard Eddy Memorial Lecture is a living memorial to a former student. John Kennard "Jeff" Eddy - along with Bill Kroener and Jay Riesz, two of his classmates and friends - was killed by a reckless driver on September 23, 1988. The Eddy family has chosen this very valuable and important method of keeping Jeff's memory alive across the generations of Ohio Wesleyan students. Past speakers of the Eddy Memorial Lecture series include General Anthony Zinni and Dr. John J. Mearsheimer.

The Sagan National Colloquium is in its 20th year at Ohio Wesleyan. This year’s theme is "The United States and the Islamic World: Challenges and Prospects." All lectures are free of charge and open to the public. For more information, please visit http://snc.owu.edu or call 740-803-3995.