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Thomas Lamb Eliot Lecture on Religion: A New Vision of Islamic Pasts and Futures

Thursday, October 28, 2021 4:30pm

3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199

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Dr. Shahzad Bashir, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities at Brown University

This talk will present the case for rethinking what we mean by the term "Islamic history".  Instead of pegging the past to a timeline, as done in academic work since the nineteenth century, Dr. Shahzad suggests we should understand Islamic pasts and futures as infinitely variable and always tied to ideological and political interests of those who articulate them. Since the past is a crucial component of identity, this approach to the relationship between Islam and time best accounts for the vast diversity of ways in which Islam has been understood by Muslims as well as non-Muslims over the centuries around the globe. It is essential to reimagine the very idea of Islamic history in order to advance the study of Islam beyond orientalist, theological, and nativist paradigms. This talk will illustrate the argument by delving into case studies presented in a digital monograph forthcoming from MIT Press in 2022.

Sponsored by the religion department. Free and open to the public.

 

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