An internationally recognized scholar on religion and violence, Dr. Charles Selengut, professor of sociology at County College of Morris (CCM), has been appointed to the Board of Advisors of the Inter Religious Federation for World Peace (IRFWP).
The federation, consisting of distinguished leaders and scholars from around the world, serves the United Nations, nations and municipalities by offering wisdom and guidance to advance peace and prosperity.
"It is an honor to join such an enlightened group of individuals who share the goal of advancing religious understanding and the awareness that religious conflicts undermine positive human endeavors," said Selengut.
The author of Sacred Fury: Understanding Religious Violence, Selengut believes that if society hopes to find a solution to religious violence, it needs to gain a better and more comprehensive understanding of what motivates such behavior.
"Contrary to predictions, religion has become more central to world politics," he said. "That’s why it’s important to attempt to understand the current effervescence of religious violence we’re seeing in society today. You can’t solve a problem until you can name it and understand its origin and reality.”
The other members of the IRFWP Board of Advisors are Shrivatsa Goswami, director of Sri Caitanya Prema Samsthana in Jai Singh Ghera, Vrindavan, India; Professor Sulayman S. Nyang, former deputy ambassador and head of chancery of the Gambia Embassy in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and the Rev. Junsei Terasawa, who initiated both the Peace Camp on the Iraq-Saudi border in a bid to avert the Gulf War and the three-month Pakistan-India Prayer March for Peace.
Selengut has lectured at conferences worldwide on the rise of fundamentalist religion and violence and spoken many times at the United Nations addressing topics related to the genesis of religious violence. He has taught sociology at CCM for more than 40 years. During that time, he has published six books and numerous essays and monographs.
He received his B.A. from Brooklyn College, his M.A. from New School University and his Ph.D. from Drew University. Included among his honors and recognition, he was named a member of the MacArthur Foundation “Project on Fundamentalism,” a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at Harvard University, and a 1997 finalist for the Carnegie Professor of the Year Award.