Two Noted Journalists To Speak On “God & Secular Culture” at Rochester College Conference

American & Turkish Journalists To Address “Speaking of God in a Secular Culture” at March Conference

Explore the role of religion in public life as two noted journalists address the important topic of “Speaking of God in a Secular Culture” on Tuesday, March 19, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Rochester College.

John Seigenthaler, American writer and political figure, and Mustafa Akyol, Turkish journalist and author, will discuss their cultures’ approach to freedom of religious expression in secular cultures. From Muslim and Christian perspectives, each will relate case studies with which he has first-hand experience.

Former editorial director of “USA Today,” Seigenthaler founded the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University in 1991 with the mission of creating national discussion, dialogue and debate about First Amendment rights and values. A former president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Seigenthaler served for 43 years as an award-winning journalist for The Tennessean, Nashville’s morning newspaper.

Akyol is a Turkish intellectual who writes columns for two Turkish daily papers, Star and Hürriyet Daily News. Akyol has presented seminars in several universities or think-tanks in the United States and the United Kingdom on issues of Islam, politics and Turkish affairs. His articles on Islamic issues have appeared in publications such as Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and many other publications. His latest book, Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty was published by W.W. Norton in July 2011. 

This collaborative one-day conference, hosted by Rochester College with co-sponsor The Niagara Foundation, costs $25 for adults and $10 for students. The conference will take place in the RC Theatre at 800 W. Avon Rd., Rochester Hills, MI  48307. For more information or to register, go to

Founded in 1959, Rochester College is an accredited, independent liberal arts college that pursues academic excellence in a Christian setting. With more than 1,200 students, both in traditional, adult learning and early college programs, RC offers bachelor degree programs at four locations and a master’s degree in religious education. For more information about Rochester College, visit

Niagara Foundation-Michigan is a non-profit organization dedicated to promote intercultural and interfaith dialogue and to encourage cultural exchange through social, art, and educational events. NF is dedicated to building a platform where people of different cultures and faiths can come together and appreciate their differences and similarities in a friendly atmosphere.

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