"Researching without Prejudice: How is this possible with Islam and the modern world?" with Alison Scott-Baumann
November 6, 2013. Securitization within politics has entered the research community in Britain and Europe and creates a powerful ideology of fear about radicalization and Islam. Attempts to bring communities together can thus be seen as, at best, irrelevant and at worst, a direct threat. This has been a significant factor in Prof. Scott-Baumann’s experience of undertaking research on Muslims for the British government and other related bodies. She will touch on related projects that include interesting work on Arabic, and demonstrate how she uses both pure and applied philosophy to keep a sense of balance.
Libya: From Revolutionary Legitimacy to Constitutional Legitimacy
This lecture is a philosophical/political reflection on the situation in Libya today. Exploring architectonic and structural sources of tension that have led to a multiplicity of crises, it goes on to explore a set of possible remedies and solutions. The notions and realities of 'revolutionary' and 'constitutional' legitimacy are approached theoretically and pragmatically. The lecture concludes with an outline of a 'Libya Disaster Recovery Plan' aimed at stabilization and national thriving.
"Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Accept the Islamic Republic of Iran" with Hillary Mann Leverett and Flynt Leverett
October 10, 2013. As Washington hopes for a breakthrough on the Iranian nuclear issue with Iran's new President Rouhani, the Leveretts will argue that change really needs to come from Washington. This will require a thorough reassessment of American grand strategy in the Middle East, enabling Washington finally to accept the Islamist governance and foreign policy independence of one of the world's most important civilization states -- just as, in the 1970s, Washington finally accepted the People's Republic of China, another civilization state with a revolutionary commitment to strategic independence.
2013 A Common Word Conference: Opening and Panel 1
Panel 1: Are There Limits to Religious Freedom that Religions Agree On?
Few dispute the value and centrality of religious freedom, but religious traditions also often guard areas of faith, practice, or community that they hold beyond the reach of that freedom. If religious traditions agree on the importance of religious freedom, can they agree to limitations on blasphemy, building churches, and missionary work?
2013 A Common Word Conference: Panel 2
Panel 2: Challenges to the Relationship of Law to Religion in Western Democracies and in Post Arab Spring State Building
Religious communities have had different arrangements with the (nation) states in which they exist. In Western secular democracies, the relationship between state and religion and the complexities this poses for religious freedom have emerged more clearly than ever. At the same time, in Egypt and Tunisia, questions of the relationship of religion to the state and its impact on equality of citizenship and religious freedom are at the forefront in state building. What will the Arab Spring mean for religious freedom? Will governments dominated by Islamic parties seek to limit it or embrace it?
2013 A Common Word Conference: Plenary
The Challenge of Religious Pluralism in Christian-Muslim Relations: The Arab Spring
Emerging democracies in Muslim countries such as Egypt and Tunisia struggle with the issue of religious pluralism in guaranteeing equality of citizenship and political representation. What are the key issues and the way forward?