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Brigham Young University has named Truman G. Madsen, professor of philosophy, director of BYU's Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies, effective mid-June, Pres. Rex E. Lee announced.

Madsen will replace George A. Horton, Jr., who has been at the center since 1988, serving as associate director and director. Horton will return to BYU, where he is a professor of ancient scripture."Truman Madsen's distinguished academic career and his more than two decades of experience with our Study Abroad programs in Israel make him an excellent candidate for this position," Pres. Lee said. "We are pleased he has accepted this challenging assignment."

Madsen has conducted 27 study tours to Israel since 1967 and taught Jewish philosophy and New Testament classes at the Jerusalem Center from 1987 to 1989. He was a guest professor in the Eretz-Israel Department at Haifa University in 1980.

His wife, Ann Nicholls Madsen, has taught Old Testament classes at BYU for 14 years and at the center for two. She will join the faculty at the center.

Both have served on the Jerusalem Center Academic Coordinating Committee and the Committee on the Learning Center.

Madsen is the first occupant of the Richard L. Evans Chair of Christian Understanding, established at BYU in 1972. The Salt Lake City native has been director of Judeo-Christian Studies in BYU's Religious Studies Center and director of the Institute of Mormon Studies.

He is the author of five books, and is on the board of editors of the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

Madsen earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Utah and his doctorate at Harvard University. He has taught at Harvard, Northeastern University in Boston and the Graduate Theological Union, University of California at Berkeley, in addition to his work at Haifa University.