Event Highlights: Sunni Chauvinism and the Roots of Muslim Modernism

This event, which took place at BU’s Howard Thurman Center on Thursday, October 5, celebrates the recent publication by Princeton University Press of Sunni Chauvinism and the Roots of Muslim Modernism by Teena U. Purohit, Associate Professor of Religion, South Asian Studies, and Islamic Studies at Boston University. Cemil Aydin, Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, served as discussant. Jeremy Menchik, Associate Professor of International Relations at BU’s Pardee School of Global Studies and Director of CURA, introduced the speakers.

Muslim modernism was a political and intellectual movement that sought to redefine the relationship between Islam and the colonial West in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Spearheaded by Muslim leaders in Asia and the Middle East, the modernist project arose from a desire to reconcile Islamic beliefs and practices with European ideas of secularism, scientific progress, women’s rights, and democratic representation. Teena Purohit provides innovative readings of the foundational thinkers of Muslim modernism, showing how their calls for unity and reform led to the marginalization of Muslim minority communities that is still with us today.


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