Professor John D. Barton is a visiting associate professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Also the Associate Director for the Center for Faith and Learning at Pepperdine University, Prof. Barton holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and a M.Div. in Theology from the Harding Graduate School of Religion. His academic interests include African and comparative philosophy, interfaith dialogue, and reconciliation studies.
” But I will tell you, the thing that really made the biggest difference for me, beyond the debates, beyond the interviews, beyond the books, beyond the scholarly opinions, the thing that really made the biggest difference for me were some friendships. … I got to know these men, I met their wives, I saw their children. They had me into their homes. I had them into my home. And they met my wife and my children, and I saw in them true, authentic people that were living faithfully and caring about their families, and trying to make the world a better place.”
” I’m inspired by what he [Fethullah Gulen] stands for and what he’s trying to do. The controversy that he has endured, the influence that he has had on many people. To try to promote peace, to build bridges of understanding across different communities, it’s been very inspiring to me, and so I’ve become more and more interested, and actually more and more engaged in different activities and initiatives with Hizmet affiliates.”
” … that’s what I see Fethullah Gülen doing. That’s what I see the Hizmet Movement doing. I find people who are faithful, they’re serious about their beliefs, their religious beliefs, they’re practicing Muslims, and they are finding within the Muslim teaching and the Muslim tradition, resources for dialog and toleration and peace, and I think that’s incredibly profound. And I think that’s the biggest contribution of the Hizmet Movement and Mr. Gülen and his influences on the world.”