This conference will examine the work of our keynote speaker, Professor Sadik al-Azm, professor of philosophy at the University of Damascus and a leading progressive Arab intellectual in political and religious matters. Papers will focus on two of the most influential aspects of Prof. al-Azm's work, his critique of orientalism and his analysis of Islamic fundamentalism.
Participating are scholars who are also public intellectuals and who will have an opportunity to discuss linkages among religion, nationalism, and gender. In addition, the conference will serve to establish connections between scholars of Jewish Studies and Islamic Studies.
Both Sadik al-Azm and the other invited speakers will examine the role played by the emerging Western discourse of Islamic extremism in creating the resurgence of a politicized right-wing Christianity in the United States and, conversely, the role within Islamic communities of the awareness of Christian evangelical hostility toward Islam and liberalism. Even as Muslims are being called upon to create democratic, liberal institutions, Christian evangelicals are perceived to be questioning or even rejecting democratic and liberal foundations. As Sadik al-Azm has made clear in his writings, the Islamicate world views such Christian ambivalence with some suspicion, even as it insists - mistakenly, in his view - that the very term "fundamentalism" is imbued with Christian assumptions and cannot be applied to Islam. As a pioneering critic, Professor al-Azm has demonstrated the biases on both the Christian and Muslim sides and has sought ways to overcome the alleged incomparability of contemporary Christian and Muslim religious movements.
For more information, contact Meredyth Morley, Dept Admin, 603-646-8172
Welcome: Susannah Heschel
Moderator: Gene Garthwaite, Dartmouth College
Moderator: Michael Ermarth, Dartmouth College
Abraham Udovitch, Princeton University, "From Holocaust to Jihad: How the Messiah Came to Lubavitch"
Moderator: Veronika Fuechtner, Dartmouth College
Moderator: Dale Eickelman, Dartmouth College
Sadik al-Azm, University of Damascus, "Orientalism and Fundamentalism Re-Visited"
Reception Hayward Lounge, Hanover Inn, 4 pm
Co-Sponsored by the Dartmouth Centers Forum
Moderator: Anne Saadah, Dartmouth College
Moderator: Diana Abouali, Dartmouth College
Last Updated: 11/12/08