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Westmont Lecture Series Tees Up ‘Future of Freedom’

In advance of Westmont President's Breakfast, professors will discuss keynote speaker's book.

Journalist Fareed Zakaria and his book, The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad, will be the subject of Westmont College’s downtown lecture series discussion Thursday at the University Club. Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International, is the keynote speaker at Monday’s annual Westmont President’s Breakfast.

Westmont professors Charles Farhadian, an associate professor of religious studies, and Rick Pointer, a history professor, will lead Thursday’s discussion.

Farhadian is an expert on world religions, with much of his research focused on Southeast Asia and the Pacific. He is the author of Christian Worship Worldwide: Expanding Horizons, Deepening Practices, The Testimony Project: Papua and Christianity, Islam, and Nationalism in Indonesia.

Zakaria’s book, Farhadian said, "focuses attention on broad themes of liberty, democracy and capitalism in an accessible and deeply engaging discussion that illuminates the fault lines between successful and failed democracies."{mosimage}

“The book is a timely presentation of pertinent topics of current American political discourse on foreign policy, world trade and emerging democracies,” he said.

Pointer, an expert on American colonial and revolutionary history, has published Encounters of the Spirit: Native Americans and European Colonial Religion and Protestant Pluralism and the New York Experience: A Study of Eighteenth-Century Religious Diversity.

The Future of Freedom lays out a series of bold arguments that collectively remind us not to equate democracy with freedom,” Pointer said.{mosimage}

“As he (Zakaria) and current global events make clear, the world is replete with examples of illiberal democracy that inhibit rather than augment the cause of liberty. How world leaders, including our own, should respond to this challenge is the type of big question Zakaria is adept at asking, and any friend of freedom should be concerned to answer.”

The book discussion begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St. The event is free and open to the public.

The Westmont Foundation sponsors both the lecture series and Monday’s breakfast at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort. For more information, contact Westmont College or call 805.565.6895.

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