Mr. Dickerson learned the religion of the Lutheran Church, attending its Bethlehem Elementary and Concordia High schools in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His exposure to Catholicism through a high school friend sparked a curiosity about religion that would follow him throughout his life.
Engineering at Purdue and business at Indiana universities opened the door to a career in the esoteric area of refrigeration compressors, which lead to his involvement with a major appliance manufacturer and running his own company in the compressor field. He and his wife, Beverly, raised four children, and now have ten grandchildren. Mr. Dickerson retired in 2003 and began more earnestly to pursue his passion for religious history.
Almost all of his reading and study had been focused on Judaism and Christianity until September 11, 2001, when the need to understand the religion of Islam and its history became obvious. Since then, Mr. Dickerson has dug deeply into Islamic history, often through the original source books of the writers of the Hadiths.
After retirement trips to Israel and Turkey, numerous trips back to Italy and Europe were now more focused on the sites and backgrounds of the great historic events. Information of these events comes from books, but Mr. Dickerson strongly believes understanding their context requires seeing where they occurred. Looking out from the heights of Megiddo brought home the history of Israel more than its descriptions and stories of the battles there. Visiting Wittenberg and the land of Luther brought substance to the stories of the Reformation; discussing Islam in Turkey with Muslims, seeing Carcassonne and the sights of the Albigensian slaughter, and many more such visits have enriched Mr. Dickerson’s understanding of the history and impact of the Abrahamic religions, far beyond what can be gleaned from books or classrooms.
After fifty years of reading, studying, discussing, and more reading, Mr. Dickerson has set out to tell the incredible story of how a desert nomad and his God became the religions of half the people in the world. In the first volume, Abraham’s God relates the story of the origin of the beliefs of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and the second volume, Abraham’s Devil, will show how those beliefs came to underlie many of the events and struggles in our modern world.