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September 12, 2015

All world religions encourage deep respect for human life and benevolent, ethical ideals, but religious beliefs have also been used to justify brutal, violent repressions in every part of the world. This seminar will explore this complex paradox by analyzing both the diverse critiques of violence and the justifications for religious violence in different historical eras. Brett Whalen will examine recurring patterns of premodern Christian violence, and Charles Kurzman will discuss recent arguments about revolutionary religious violence among opposing Muslim groups. Sara H. Smith and Lauren G. Leve will provide new analytical perspectives on the influential religious beliefs that contribute to conflicts among national and ethnic communities in South Asia, focusing especially on the views (and uses) of violence among Hindus and Buddhists. All of these themes will converge in a provocative, comparative analysis of how benevolent religions have contributed to the long history of human violence.

Topics & Speakers

Faith, Revelation, and Violence in the Christian Middle Ages
Brett Whalen, Associate Professor of History

Islam and the Complexities of Modern Religious Violence
Charles Kurzman, Professor of Sociology

Hindu Nationalism, Religious Identities, and the Legacies of National Partitions in South Asia
Sara H. Smith, Associate Professor of Geography

Violence, Culture, and Ethical Complexity in Actually-Existing Buddhism
Lauren G. Leve, Associate Professor of Religious Studies

Why do Religious Beliefs cause Religious Violence?
A panel discussion with our speakers

Time & Cost

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, September 12, 2015. The tuition is $140 ($125 by September 3). Tuition for teachers is $70 ($62.50 by September 3). Teachers can also receive a $75 stipend after attending (click here for more information) and 10 contact hours for 1 unit of renewal credit. Lunch is included.

For information about lodging click here.

Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.

For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

Register for this seminar.