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Marc Gopin, a noted authority on international conflict resolution, will deliver a speech entitled “Between Armageddon: The Future of World Religion, Violence, and Peace Making” at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, in the auditorium of Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, Lafayette College.

Sponsored by the department of religion and supported by Lyman Coleman Fund, the talk is free and open to the public. The lecture will examine religion’s paradoxical dual nature as a means of achieving a global community based on tolerance and forgiveness and a path of strife and divisiveness. Gopin will also speak to Lafayette students in religion classes.

Gopin is a senior associate in the Program for Preventive Diplomacy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and a visiting assistant professor in the department of philosophy and religion and the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University.

He has served as a consultant to a variety of organizations including the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Embassy of Israel, and the World Bank.

As a rabbi in the Jewish community, Gopin has applied Jewish values to peace making and war prevention, conflict resolution methodologies, and international development for the poor. In 1988, he founded Hesed (compassion) International, which promoted an ethical response to international poverty, and which created small projects of sustainable development in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and Rwanda, as well as ethical educational programming. In 1994, he co-authored a national Jewish Civics curriculum, entitled, “Jewish Civics: a Tikkun Olam/World Repair Manual”. Gopin has also worked extensively with Christian and Jewish groups on conflict resolution between Arabs and Jews, and engages in extensive multi-faith cooperation on global problems. Recently, he engaged in a dialogue with several leading international religious figures in Switzerland, including Cardinal Koenig and the Dalai Lama, on the subject of the future of the human community in the twenty-first century. He has also engaged in conflict resolution research and teaching regarding secular/religious conflict in Israel. Gopin has also served as a rabbi for two congregations, one in Berkeley and one in Boston, and as a chaplain for Hillel institutions in Boston.

He earned a Ph.D. in ethics from Brandeis University, where he received the Nachum Glatzer Prize for Excellence in Jewish Scholarship for his dissertation on Samuel David Luzzatto’s Moral Sense Theory. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University.

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