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Kecia Ali interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered.

October 20th, 2014 in Uncategorized.

Many Views Of Muhammad, As A Man And As A Prophet

The Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was one of the most influential men in human history — but there’s little we can say about his life with historical certainty. The details of his life have been debated and manipulated ever since he walked the earth in the seventh century.

Boston University professor Kecia Ali’s new book, The Lives of Muhammad, examines those divergent narratives. In it, she explores the different ways the prophet’s life story has been told and retold, by both Muslims and non-Muslims, from the earliest days of Islam to the present. ……more

Listen to interview

Interfaith Engagement Series Lecture by Adam Seligman

September 24th, 2014 in Uncategorized.

Thursday, October 2, 2014
5:00-6:30pm
BU School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room B-24

CEDAR: Communities Engaging with Difference and Religion

Join us for a lecture and conversation with Dr. Seligman who will help us understand just what engaging with difference may mean as an alternative to the many efforts of “finding common ground” or a “shared humanity” that define so many intercommnunal and interreligious initiatives. We will discuss the role of discomfort in learning and the importance of experience as opposed to book knowledge in the maturing of our moral consciousness.

Adam Seligman’s “Religious Education and the Challenge of Pluralism” has just been published.

September 17th, 2014 in Uncategorized.

Religious EducationThe essays in this volume offer a groundbreaking comparative analysis of religious education, and state policies towards religious education in seven different countries and in the European Union as a whole. They pose a crucial question: can religious education contribute to a shared public sphere and foster solidarity across different ethnic and religious communities?

In many traditional societies and even in what are largely secular European societies, our place in creation, the meaning of good and evil, and the definition of the good life, virtue, and moral action, are all primarily addressed in religious terms. It is in fact hard to come to grips with these issues without recourse to religious language, traditions, and frames of reference. Yet, religious languages and identities divide as much as unite, and provide a site of contestation and strife as much as a sense of peace and belonging Not surprisingly, different countries approach religious education in dramatically different ways. Religious Education and the Challenge of Pluralism addresses a pervasive problem: how can religious education provide a framework of meaning, replete with its language of inclusion and community, without at the same time drawing borders and so excluding certain individuals and communities from its terms of collective membership and belonging?

The authors offer in-depth analysis of such pluralistic countries as Bulgaria, Israel, Malaysia, and Turkey, as well as Cyprus – a country split along lines of ethno-religious difference. They also examine the connection between religious education and the terms of citizenship in the EU, France, and the USA, illuminating the challenges of educating our citizenry in an age of religious resurgence and global politics.

Religious Education and the Challenge of Pluralism
Edited by Adam Seligman
October 1, 2014
Oxford University Press
Buy it now from Amazon.com!

Kecia Ali’s The Lives of Muhammad (Harvard) has just been published.

September 11th, 2014 in Uncategorized.

The Lives of MuhammadA “Top 10 in Religion” pick from Publisher’s Weekly, the book explores the changing ways Muhammad’s life has been told over the centuries. It argues that despite the common perception that Muslims cling to archaic ideas about their prophet, in fact many ideas about Muhammad that contemporary Muslims hold developed over the last two centuries in tandem and in tension with Western Christian writers’ views of him, drawing on new ideas about marriage, sexuality, and human achievement.

Buy it now from Harvard University Press!

Frank Korom will be participating in a workshop on Sufi shrines in the “valley of saints,” located in Khuldabad, India.

July 28th, 2014 in Uncategorized.

The event in August of 2014 is being sponsored by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (http://caorc.org) that earlier funded Korom’s workshop on Sufism as a mediating force in South Asia. The goal is to bring together junior and senior scholars in this field of research to exchange ideas and research methodologies that will lead to a significant advancement in our knowledge of the significance of Sufi shrines in the context of regional and global religion.

Jerusalem: How Did It Get to Be the Holy City?

July 21st, 2014 in Uncategorized.

Zank’s class ponders centuries of conflict, zeal, and spin
By Susan Seligson

From accounts carved in stone thousands of years ago to today’s New York Times, Jerusalem has always been headline-worthy. It is a beautiful, vibrant, modern metropolis where every ancient byway tells a story of faith, siege, prosperity, and grief. To study Jerusalem—its tumultuous history, dramatic architecture, politics, power struggles, commerce, and shifting population –is to gain an invaluable understanding of three of the world’s major religions and the global impact and legacy of their long long-simmering conflicts and periodic alliances. In the College of Arts & Science summer course Holy City: Jerusalem in Time, Space, and the Imagination, taught by Michael Zank, a CAS professor of religion and director of the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, students from diverse backgrounds gather around a table for two and a half hours twice a week to discuss and debate everything from the city’s urban landscape and development to the biases reflected in Jerusalem-related mass communication, scholarship, and religious texts.  Read more

Zank.BUtoday

 

Ninth International Conference on Daoist Studies held at BU.

June 6th, 2014 in Uncategorized.

Led by Assistant Professor Tom Michael and Emeritus Professor Livia Kohn, the Department of Religion co-sponsored the Ninth International Conference on Daoist Studies this May, bringing together scholars of this still-vital ancient Chinese tradition from all over the world.
http://sites.bu.edu/daoiststudies/

CH53-636x477

Abigail Clauhs wins Ada Draper Award!

April 22nd, 2014 in Uncategorized.

Abigail will use the funds to travel to Turkey to visit important historic religious sites–from cave monasteries to mosques to ancient temples–in order to develop an online resource for learning and discussion for interfaith groups. In the fall she begins graduate school at Claremont School of Theology to pursue an MDiv with a concentration in Leadership in Social Justice Community Organizations.

 

The Ada Draper Award is granted to an outstanding CAS senior woman to be to be used for traveling or studying abroad after graduation. The fund stipulates “such income shall be applied to establish scholarships and to enable the most meritorious and needy female students to be sent abroad after graduation to complete their studies.” Implicit is the recognition that learning, in Ms. Draper’s opinion, should extend beyond the classroom walls and take place in foreign climes.

Abigail is a senior majoring in Religion. She is also a winner of The Richard Katz Award and CAS College Prize.

 

 

 

Robert Neville’s garden featured in the Boston Globe Magazine.

April 16th, 2014 in Uncategorized.

The fine art of garden design in Milton

A couple transform their third of an acre into a series of themed outdoor spaces, from Asian to Italianate.

Robert Neville Boston Globe See more images

David Frankfurter in BU Today.

April 9th, 2014 in Uncategorized.

Are Christians the Most Persecuted Religious Group?

New book says yes, but CAS scholar disagrees

David Frankfurter BU TodayFrom the slaughter of 60 Catholic priests by Iraqi Islamists four years ago to what one historian calls “hellish concentration camps for Christians” in Eritrea, journalist John Allen sees followers of Jesus as “indisputably…the most persecuted religious body on the planet.” So he writes in his latest book, The Global War on Christians (Random House, 2013), which cites such authorities as the International Society for Human Rights, noting that the group identifies 80 percent of religious freedom violations worldwide as targeting Christians. Read more