NORFOLK, Neb. – The earliest origins of religion will be discussed as part of a lecture series at Northeast Community College this week.
Joshua Pollock, adjunct professor of history at Modesto Junior College (Calif.), will speak on the Heirs of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity and Islam during a Hawk Talks lecture on Fri., March 17, at 6:30 p.m., in the lower level of Northeast’s Union 73, 801 E. Benjamin Ave., in Norfolk. The program was originally scheduled for Thur., March 16, but has been postponed to Fri., March 17, due to predicted winter weather.
Pollock’s primary areas of interest are in the history of Northern Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East with a focus on Abrahamic religions. His presentation will cover the origins of the three major Abrahamic beliefs, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Paul Muncy, social sciences instructor at Northeast and coordinator of Hawk Talks, said Pollock will discuss similarities between all three as well and why each is unique.
“Throughout the last 2,000 years, there has often been animosity between these three religions, with their adherents forgetting that they all come from a similar root. The God of Jesus was also the God of Abraham; indeed, Jesus himself is an extremely important figure in Islam,” Muncy said. “The name of God in Islam, Allah, comes from the same root as Elohim, one of the Israelites’ names for Yahweh, and is the same name which Arab Christians and converts to Judaism had been using for God since even before the prophet Muhammad.”
Muncy said society sometimes oversimplifying the nuances of individual religions by making the claim that “all religions are basically the same,” robs each creed of its individual characteristics and beliefs.
“Professor Pollock is a rare scholar who is able to approach all three of these faiths from a critical perspective while at the same time celebrating them and appreciating all of the beauty they have to offer.”
Pollock comes from a family lineage deeply rooted in religion. His great grandmother’s father, Reverend Charles Albert Parker, served congregations in Colorado, and Los Gatos and the Bay Area in California. His grandfather, Dwight Lang, was a lifelong member of Gideons International; an association of Christian business and professional men known for giving out free Bibles. His great uncle, Father Leo Davis, was a Catholic priest and a founder of the Cardijn Center, a Catholic social justice organization in San Diego. Pollock’s parents converted to the Jehovah’s Witnesses in which he served as a ministerial servant for a short duration. Pollock no longer is a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses community.
During his time in college, Pollock delved into understanding the history of Christianity’s global legacy and the religions of other civilizations. He teaches world religions in his World Civilization class for Modesto Junior College.
At the end of the talk on March 17, there will be a question-and-answer period for audience members to inquire more deeply into the subject matter.
Hawk Talks are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served beginning at 6 p.m. For more information, contact Muncy at email@example.com.