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Archive for February 2017

February 23, 2017. Q&A. The Christian communities of modern Iraq have been obliged to adapt to a wide variety of changing religious, political, social and economic circumstances. From the foundation of the state of Iraq in the aftermath of the First World War through to the overthrow of Saddam Husain the Christians have attempted to deal with often highly challenging circumstances. Nevertheless, for the most part Christians have strongly grounded themselves in Iraqi society and have been net contributors. This talk will consider how Christian-Muslim relations have altered over the last one hundred years and reflect on how Christian and Muslim engagements may develop in light of the rise of Da'esh/ISIL and the ethnic cleansing of Iraq's Christian pop.

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February 23, 2017. The Christian communities of modern Iraq have been obliged to adapt to a wide variety of changing religious, political, social and economic circumstances. From the foundation of the state of Iraq in the aftermath of the First World War through to the overthrow of Saddam Husain the Christians have attempted to deal with often highly challenging circumstances. Nevertheless, for the most part Christians have strongly grounded themselves in Iraqi society and have been net contributors. This talk will consider how Christian-Muslim relations have altered over the last one hundred years and reflect on how Christian and Muslim engagements may develop in light of the rise of Da'esh/ISIL and the ethnic cleansing of Iraq's Christian pop.

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February 6, 2017. Q&A. This talk explored—in the context of Islamic West Africa—these two primary (and inter-related) senses of the meaning of the word ‘visionary’: a person who experiences ‘visions’ in dreams, trances, and waking states and a person who provides inspirational leadership for social change. In short, it is an examination of the relationship between the ‘extra-sensory’ sensorium of religious experiences and social action in the Islamic tradition of the African West. For visionary African Muslims, 'visions' were often more real than reality itself and thus had the capacity to transform it. But these visions were not limited to seeing; they were also experiences of sound and smell, touch and taste. The English language—which favors sight among its five culturally constructed senses—offers no better word to describe such all-encompassing sensory experiences than ‘vision.’

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February 6, 2017. This talk explored—in the context of Islamic West Africa—these two primary (and inter-related) senses of the meaning of the word ‘visionary’: a person who experiences ‘visions’ in dreams, trances, and waking states and a person who provides inspirational leadership for social change. In short, it is an examination of the relationship between the ‘extra-sensory’ sensorium of religious experiences and social action in the Islamic tradition of the African West. For visionary African Muslims, 'visions' were often more real than reality itself and thus had the capacity to transform it. But these visions were not limited to seeing; they were also experiences of sound and smell, touch and taste. The English language—which favors sight among its five culturally constructed senses—offers no better word to describe such all-encompassing sensory experiences than ‘vision.’

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February 1, 2017. This talk examined how Muslim French – i.e. those committed to practicing Islam as French citizens and practicing citizenship as pious Muslims – negotiate a social and political world in which they are imagined, a priori, as always already not-French because they are Muslim. It explored how this impasse is not only lived but also challenged by a post-immigration generation of Muslim civic activists. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with these activists, the talk reflected on new forms of public religiosity, national citizenship, and political possibility.

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February 1, 2017. This talk examined how Muslim French – i.e. those committed to practicing Islam as French citizens and practicing citizenship as pious Muslims – negotiate a social and political world in which they are imagined, a priori, as always already not-French because they are Muslim. It explored how this impasse is not only lived but also challenged by a post-immigration generation of Muslim civic activists. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with these activists, the talk reflected on new forms of public religiosity, national citizenship, and political possibility.

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January 25, 2017. In the last two decades, the role of religion in international affairs has become more prominent, and has attracted the academia’s and publics’ attention. However, many questions regarding how and why religion influences international relations remain unanswered. Is religion a motivation for action by state and non-state actors or merely a justification? Which actors are more influenced by religion? In what ways does religion influence international relations? In her latest book God on Our Side: Religion in International Affairs Dr. Shireen Hunter looks into these questions and tries to explain why and how religion affects international relations. By using three case studies-Russia’s Policy towards the Bosnia War, Turkey’s Policy towards the Bosnia War, and the European Union’s policy towards Turkey’s membership in the EU, Dr. Hunter demonstrated how, why, when and through what channels religion most influences international relations.

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