St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church is offering classes and discussions on Islam, including a two-week Sunday morning class, from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Sunday and Feb. 2.
The classes are free and open to the public at the church, 3809 E. Third St.
Bill Dingeldein, St. Mark’s adult education coordinator, said the goal is to broaden the public’s understanding of Islam as well as its relationship to Christianity.
The Sunday discussions will be led by Scott Lucas, director of the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona. Lucas is an authority on the Quran, the Islamic sacred book, and is a member of the Islamic Center of Tucson. He studied Islam in Yemen.
Lucas will talk about several facets of Islam, including its history and core beliefs; key similarities to and differences from Christianity; and Islamic extremism.
St. Mark’s is also offering a series of Wednesday night discussions of the book, “Memories of Muhammad: Why the Prophet Matters,” by Muslim-American scholar Omid Safi.
These discussions will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. beginning next Wednesday. During the first session, the group will determine how many weeks to meet.
The classes and book discussion groups will be held in St. Mark’s Calvin Hall, which adjoins the church’s central courtyard.