Speakers offer Paris perspectives

Professors Tom Copeland, Judith Rood and guest Marie-Claude Arden answer students’ questions regarding the Paris attacks.


Marika Adamopoulos

Matthew Maitz/THE CHIMES

Jehn Kubiak, Writer

After the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday Nov. 13,  professors realized that students would question the tragedy. Tom Copeland, associate professor of political science, and Judith Rood, professor of history and Middle Eastern studies held a discussion on Nov. 17 in Calvary Chapel to tackle the questions left lingering in the time of hardship.


The discussion was held in a roundtable format where students had the opportunity to ask the three speakers questions. Rood suggested one of her good friends, Marie-Claude Arden, as an additional speaker because she lived in Paris for 10 years and could offer a new perspective as a French citizen.

Students asked questions regarding addressing the issue of ISIS in America and globally, dictatorial regimes in the Middle East, the distinction between counter terrorism and war and how the crisis affects refugees.

Copeland hoped students would not only learn more about the terrorist attacks in Paris, but also expand their knowledge of the deeper issues leading up to the Paris event and history in the Middle East.

“[I hope students gained] some answers to questions, some ways of thinking about terrorism, the refugee crisis, and really to encourage students to dig deeper — learn more, read more, to really study the history,” Copeland said.

Copeland discussed how he desires for students to become like the sons of Issachar in the Old Testament. He said 1 Chronicles 12:32 describes how they understood the signs of their times and knew what to do in those situations. He also hopes students will learn to respond to issues in the world in a similar manner.

“That’s been my personal passion in teaching,” Copeland said. “That students would understand the world and have a sense of how they should respond.”


Students attended the event for different reasons, but each sought to gain a higher understanding of the issue and hear other perspectives.

Junior intercultural studies major Sommer Barritt wanted to learn how to pray for people affected by the issue and how to respond to it as a Christian.

“I think it’s really important to understand what is going on around us today and to formulate how to respond in a Christian manner — to learn how to pray for the different issues we’re facing globally learn how to pray,” Barritt said.


Freshman art major Chelsea Moore hoped to gain a deeper perspective, the issue aside, from the things she commonly sees in the news.

“I want to go more into depth about it and get to know things that I haven’t learned in the news or from things everyone’s been saying,” Moore said. “I really just wanted to be more informed about what’s going on.”

Moore also wanted to discover more about America’s role in the crisis and how the United States can help France.

“Pretty much what America’s going to do about it. If we were thinking about going into war or not, because I know Obama said he didn’t want to send troops — just what we might do, how to help and what’s going to happen to us as well,” Moore said.  

Freshman intercultural studies major Nicole Demarcus came to the event because she wanted to become more aware of the issue and hear other students responses.

“I like how she [Rood] was talking about that from a Muslim perspective, what ISIS is doing to other Muslims and not just how ISIS is affecting people in America or people in other countries but how it’s affecting people in their own countries and what their response is and why there’s so many refugees,” Demarcus said.

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