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Monday, December 12, 2005

Fleshing Out Professor Paul Mirecki

The Lawrence Journal-World has an excellent article about Paul Mirecki, the KU professor who was recently beaten up by anti-evolutionists.

Kansas University professor Paul Mirecki’s disparaging comments about conservative Christians and Catholics put him in a political hot seat, propelled him into national headlines and made him the victim of a reported roadside beating.

But as a boy, his parents wanted him to be a Roman Catholic priest. And as a young adult, he studied at a Protestant seminary and considered the ministry.

Ultimately, he chose academia and has dedicated his life to the study of religions.

“I just felt that that life wasn’t for me,” Mirecki said. “I wanted to be a professor.”

Among his most significant academic work was the discovery and deciphering of an ancient manuscript containing a lost gospel, a document that sheds new light on the origins of early Christianity.

Now, the 55-year-old KU associate professor of religious studies says he has been pushed from his post as department chairman, a job he held more than three years, and he is emotionally and physically battered.

The beating, he said, occurred Monday morning — a bitter consequence of the firestorm that began weeks ago when he announced he would teach a course on intelligent design as mythology, not the science its proponents claim it to be.
Paul Mirecki's life has revolved around religion — starting with his parents wanting him to become a Roman Catholic priest and his eventual career as a theology professor and researcher.

Photo by Sarah Smarsh

Paul Mirecki's life has revolved around religion — starting with his parents wanting him to become a Roman Catholic priest and his eventual career as a theology professor and researcher.

"I just want to get back to teaching and research," Mirecki said. "That's what I am, and that's what I do."


Mirecki is looking into suing the University of Kansas over the forced resignation from his chair position.

Mirecki's press release on this is available on the Lawrence Journal World website.

So the saga continues.

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