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Foreign policy, Syriac tradition topics for David M. Kennedy Center lectures April 11

Brigham Young University’s David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies will host two distinguished speakers Wednesday, April 11, in 238 Herald R. Clark Building.

Admission to both lectures will be free, and the public is welcome.

— Nicholas Cull, professor and director of the Master’s in Public Diplomacy Program at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, will discuss “Public Diplomacy and Soft Power: Governments, People and Foreign Policy” at noon for a Global Awareness Lecture.

Cull received his education at the University of Leeds and has since focused his research on the developing academic discipline of public diplomacy and the role of culture, information, news and propaganda in foreign policy. His teaching credentials include working as a lecturer in American history at the University of Birmingham and as professor and director of the Centre for American Studies at the University of Leicester, as well as his current assignment.

Cull is the author of “Selling America: U.S. Information Overseas” and “Selling War” and co-editor of “Propaganda and Mass Persuasion: A Historical Encyclopedia, 1500-Present,” which was named among “Book List” magazine’s reference books of the year.

— David G. K. Taylor, fellow and vice regent of Wolfson College at the University of Oxford, will present an Ancient Near Eastern Studies Lecture titled “The Jewish Priesthood of Christ in the Syriac Tradition” at 3 p.m.

Taylor earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Oxford. He joined the faculty of his alma mater, where he is also a lecturer in Aramaic and Syriac, after teaching at the University of Birmingham for ten years. Taylor’s research interests include the literature, history and theology of the Syriac churches and the Syriac and Aramaic versions of the Bible.

His publications include “The Hidden Pearl,” “Syriac Versions of the De Spiritu Sancto by Basil of Caesarea” and “Library of the Christian East,” a series published by Brigham Young University Press.

Both lectures will be archived online. For more information on David M. Kennedy Center events, see the calendar online at

Writer: Lee Simons

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