Beyond the Critique of Secularism: Understanding the History of Sectarianism in the Modern Middle East

A lecture with Ussama Makdisi
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
6:30 PM
Sulzberger Parlor, 3rd Floor Barnard Hall

Ussama Makdisi challenges two narratives that often dominate the story of diversity in the Middle East. The first stresses a continuous history of sectarian strife between allegedly antagonistic religious communities; the second idealizes coexistence and communal harmony between Muslims and non-Muslims. Rather than taking sectarianism or coexistence for granted—or assuming them to be age-old features of the Middle East—Makdisi historicizes both notions and emphasizes how the struggle to define the contours of modern Middle Eastern society has been multifaceted and contradictory. Makdisi is a professor of history and Arab- American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies at Rice University, and the author of Faith Misplaced: the Broken Promise of U.S.-Arab Relations, 1820-2001.

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Oct. 10, 2017 - 6:30 PM