February 27, 2002 – Bruce Lawrence: “Bridging Divided Worlds, or Why Muslims are Not Manicheans Despite the Consensus of Media and Middle East “Experts””

Wednesday, February 27 | Oakes Mural Room | 5:00 PM


Both an Islamicist and a comparativist, Bruce B. Lawrence is the Nancy and Jeffrey Marcus Humanities Professor of Religion, and Chair of the Department of Religion at Duke University. His early books explored the intellectual and social history of Asian Muslims. Shahrastani on the Indian Religions (1976) was followed by Notes from a Distant Flute (1978), The Rose and the Rock (1979) and Ibn Khaldun and Islamic Ideology (1984). Since the mid-80s, he has been especially concerned with the interplay between religion and ideology. The test case of fundamentalism became the topic of his award-winning monograph, Defenders of God: The Fundamentalist Revolt Against the Modern Age (1989/1995). A parallel inquiry informed his latest monograph, Shattering the Myth: Islam beyond Violence (1998/2000), while his next two monographs will once again tackle broader theoretical issues. Go, God, Go: Resilient Religion in the Global Century, (forthcoming in Fall 2001 from W.W. Norton) looks at the complex interaction of ideology, theology and spiritual practices in multiple contexts throughout the 20th century. His second in-progress monograph is on Asian religions in America, tentatively titled New Faiths/Old Fears (scheduled to be published by Columbia University Press in Spring 2002). Co-sponsored by the Adhoc Faculty Committee on Current Events.