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Dr. George Braswell releases new book on engaging world religions

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BY SEBTS STAFF   03/29/2021

Dr. George Braswell knows what it means to be on mission.


He’s traveled to far off places, conversed with leaders of world religions, and was the only Christian to be invited to teach at the Faculty of Islamic Theology of the University of Tehran. He has led students to engage with world religions in their own communities and has pioneered mission work in Muslim contexts. As the first Southern Baptist missionary to Iran in 1968, Braswell has influenced thousands of students to give their lives to fulfilling the Great Commission and has led churches to be missions-minded for over 50 years.

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) is excited to announce Braswell’s new book 14 Journeys: Learning to Engage with Christian Civility and Charity in an Increasingly Pluralistic World. A prolific author in the field of evangelical missions, Braswell outlines his encounters with religious leaders across a variety of faith traditions. His desire is for the church to be encouraged and equipped to engage in gospel conversations in an increasingly pluralistic society. As the nations are coming to the United States, Braswell’s hope is that his book will serve as a guide for those seeking to better understanding how to converse with those of other faiths in their own backyard. 

“[Our country] is growing tremendously in religious pluralism, and our churches need to be awakened. This book tells a more personal journey,” said Braswell, who from an early age, was drawn to foreign missions. Through Sunday school lessons on the magi and hearing missionaries speak in church, the Lord was stirring a desire in him to one day go to the nations.  

Braswell was called to ministry in high school and went to college at Wake Forest University, where he met his wife Joan in his sophomore year. After graduating from Wake Forest University, he decided to pursue his master’s at Yale Divinity School. Braswell later became pastor of Cullowhee Baptist Church in Cullowhee, North Carolina after graduating from Yale. Throughout his five years pastoring, he organized an annual trip for high schoolers from his church to attend Foreign Mission Week at the Ridgecrest Baptist Assembly, where missionaries would come to share about their experiences on the field. While Braswell prayed for students to walk the aisle to accept the call to missions, he felt the Lord tugging on his heart to go. Before he knew it, he and his wife Joan were walking down the aisle at that 1966 conference to say yes to God’s call to go to the mission field.  

Two years later, they were commissioned by the Foreign Mission Board as the first Southern Baptist missionaries to Iran. The Braswells set sail with their three children to Rome, boarded a flight to Beirut, and finally arrived in Iran—their home for the next five years. 

Braswell and his wife, Joan, have worked faithfully to reach the lost, and have trained others to do the same. They have taught throughout North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Braswell has committed much of his life to researching the Muslim context, writing both his masters and doctoral theses on the subject. He has published 13 books and numerous articles on outreach to Muslims, including “To Ride a Magic Carpet.”

In September of 2019, SEBTS established the George Braswell Missions and World Religions LibraryBraswell has also won numerous awards from Southeastern, including the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award in 1987 and a Distinguished Professorship by the Board of Trustees in 1998. Along with more than three decades of teaching at Southeastern, Dr. Braswell has served as senior professor of world religions at Campbell Divinity School in North Carolina since 2005. He formerly served as an associate director at the Armaghan Institute in Iran, professor of history at Damavand College in Iran and professor of English and comparative religions at the University of Tehran. He has held positions as president of the Beckett Center for Christian Understanding of Islam in Virginia and was also the founding director of the World Religions and Global Cultures Center at Campbell Divinity School.  

Braswell has attained six degrees: a Bachelor of Arts from Wake Forest University, a Master of Divinity from Yale University Divinity School, a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, a Doctor of Ministry from SEBTS and an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Campbell University.  

One hundred percent of all proceeds go to Great Commission efforts at SEBTS. Purchase your copy of Dr. Braswell’s book today on AmazonTo hear Dr. Braswell tell his story, watch the video below. 

Dr. Braswell shares his Great Commission Story from Southeastern Seminary on Vimeo.

*Black and white photo courtesy of IMB 


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