Interpreting the Islamic Tradition in the Contemporary World

All members of the Harvard community are cordially invited to attend the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program’s first annual conference entitled, “Interpreting the Islamic Tradition in the Contemporary World.” Events will be held on Saturday, November 3 and Sunday, November 4. The agenda for the conference events is below. The conference is free, including the lunch reception on November 3 and the Gamelan performance on November 4. The events will take place on the first floor of the Barker Center both days.

Saturday, November 3

9:30 am – 12:30 pm

  • Thompson Room, Barker Center
  • John Bowen, Washington University in Saint Louis: “Ibn Ashur in Aceh and Paris: Adapting Shar?`a by way of its Objectives”
  • Muhammad Qasim Zaman, Princeton University: “Religious Authority and the Language of Ijtihad in Contemporary Sunni Islam”
  • Asef Bayat, Leiden University: “Fun and Fundamentalism”
  • 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm Barker Center Middle Eastern lunch reception for members of the Harvard community

    2:00 pm to 5:00 pm Thompson Room, Barker Center

  • Said Arjomand, State University of New York-Stony Brook: “Islamic Constitutionalism: Paradoxes and Pitfalls in the Appropriation of the Islamicate Political Tradition”
  • Farid Esack, Harvard University: “Redeeming Islam: Constructing the Good Muslim Subject in Contemporary Religious Studies”
  • Omid Safi, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill: “Reforming Islam in the ’Axis of Evil’: Contesting Islam in Post-Revolutionary Iran”
  • Sunday, November 4

    9:30 am – 12:30 pm Thompson Room, Barker Center

  • Mahmood Mamdani, Columbia University: “Distinguishing Bigotry from Blasphemy in Contemporary Freedom of Speech Debates”
  • David Cook, Rice University: “Faith and Fornication: Behind the Murji’a Debate in Contemporary Islam”
  • Sherman Jackson, University of Michigan: “Ibn Taymya and Black Theodicy”
  • 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

  • Barker Center Concluding remarks, closing reception
  • Performance by Boston Village Gamelan Group