How Liberal can France be? Islam, politics and public order

4:00 pm on Wednesday, April 16, 2014
5:30 pm on Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Contact Name:
Arlene Brennan
John R. Bowen is one of the most distinguished and celebrated anthropologists of religion and particularly of Islam. He is Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and recurrent Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics. He has been studying Islam and society in Indonesia since the late 1970s, and since 2001 has worked in France, England, and North America on problems of pluralism, law, and religion, and in particular on contemporary efforts to rethink Islamic norms and civil law. His most recent book on Indonesia is Islam, Law and Equality in Indonesia: An Anthropology of Public Reasoning (Cambridge, 2003). His Why the French Don’t Like Headscarves (Princeton, 2007) concerned current debates in France on Islam and laïcité. Can Islam be French? (Princeton, 2009) treated Muslim debates and institutions in France and appeared in French in 2011. A New Anthropology of Islam from Cambridge and Blaming Islam from MIT Press appeared in 2012, and European States and their Muslim Citizens will appear from Cambridge in late 2013. He is currently writing Shaping British Islam, to appear from Princeton. He also writes regularly for The Boston Review, and he is editing a book on Islam, law and property in Indonesia, to be submitted to Brill in 2014. Among his current concerns are ways to analytically span regions in studying law, religion (Islam), and the state.