Religion Program Events

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Crusades in the Abrahamic Spiral of Violence




You can have prosperity, victory against the odds, and the enjoyment of a complete life.
 
All you have to do is sacrifice your child.
 
Those are the terms of reference set out in the biblical story of the command God gives Abraham, to offer his son on a ritual altar.  Genesis 22, known as the Aqedah, or “Binding” of Isaac, since Abraham bound his son in order to slay him, has a rich and often dark history. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have armed themselves over time with the conviction that an innocent victim – Isaac or Christ of Isma’il – models God’s desire for how his people should sacrifice themselves for him.
 
In the Crusades, those three religions deployed their unique versions of Abraham’s offering as they inflicted violence on one another and suffered violence at one another’s hands.
 
Our discussion is designed to show how the Aqedah focused violence during the period of the Crusades, and how resources of interpretation within each tradition could lead them out of their mutual confrontation.
 
Time: 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Location: Olin, Room 204
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Monday, April 16, 2018

An Undefined Line Between Celebration and Mourning in Post-Revolutionary Iran


Using some key concepts in Bruce Lincoln's Holy Terrors: Thinking About Religion After September 11 (Chicago, 2003), this talk will examine commemorations of violent events in modern Iranian and sacred Shi’a history (such as the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the Iran-Iraq War, and martyrdom of the family of the Prophet Muhammad). It reviews both Iranian and American reporting of holidays marked in the Islamic Republic of Iran to ask how the presentation of commemorations (especially in calendars, media, rituals) uses careful rhetoric and historical contextualization to walk the fine line between celebration and mourning or blur the line between nationalism and religious practice.
Time: 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Location: Olin, Room 204
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Past Events