The term “interfaith leader” may not be part of the vernacular yet, but founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core,…
Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, released his newest book, Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America, Tuesday at the Chautauqua Institution. During the 2 p.m. Interfaith Lecture, in the Hall of Philosophy, Patel gave a lecture of the same name.
Patel touched on the Week Eight theme, “Radicalism: Burden or Blessing?” in his speech, which discussed the inspiration for his book, the history of pluralism in both the United States and Islam and the nature of America’s sacred ground.
Every time he is in the middle of writing a book, Patel said, he turns to his wife and asks why she let him do it again. For every author who elects to write another book, there is a spark of inspiration that ignites them at the start of the process, a spark which they hope burns through to the end, Patel said. For him, that spark came in the summer of 2010, while the U.S. was inflamed in the controversial battle over the “ground zero mosque.”
The United States was a radical idea from its beginning, said Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core.
The country was founded on principles of cultural and religious pluralism — ideas that would be considered radical in many other countries throughout the world even today, he said. But religious pluralism, radical or not, is what makes the U.S. a unique place of sacred ground.
Patel will discuss religious pluralism and the promise of America at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Hall of Philosophy. His Interfaith Lecture is based largely on his new book, Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America, which goes on sale today. Outside his family, Patel said Chautauquans are the first able to buy the book, and there will be a book signing after his lecture.