St. Bonaventure University’s Center for Arab and Islamic Studies (CAIS) will present “The Movie Mogul, Moses and Muslims: Islamic Elements in Cecil B. DeMille’s "The Ten Commandments" from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, March 21, in the University Club at St. Bonaventure. The presentation is free and open to the public.
DeMille’s 1956 film, “The Ten Commandments,” has earned a permanent place in American culture due to its annual airing on television during the Easter and Passover holidays.
“Most viewers are unaware, however, that DeMille sought to make a film that would appeal to Jews, Christians and Muslims at a time when their common Abrahamic ancestry had yet to be articulated, and interreligious dialogue was all but unheard of,” said Fr. Michael Calabria, O.F.M., Ph.D., director of the CAIS and presenter of the program.
During the presentation, Calabria will explore the social and historical context for the film. Using film clips, he will examine the movie’s references to the Qu’ran and Muslims.
Established by Calabria in 2015, the CAIS seeks to promote an understanding of Arab and Islamic cultures, an appreciation of both their historical and contemporary significance in the global community, and respectful relations between Muslim and Christian people.
In addition to his doctorate in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter, UK, Calabria holds a bachelor’s degree in Near Eastern Studies from John Hopkins University, a master’s degree in Egyptology from Brown University, a master of Library Science degree from Columbia University, and a master of Divinity degree and master of Theology from Washington Theological Union.
Persons interested in learning more about the center, its lectures and course offerings should visit www.sbu.edu/CAIS or contact Fr. Michael Calabria, O.F.M., at firstname.lastname@example.org or (716) 375-2162.
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