Convening 23 October 2014 Columbia University
Religious Wars in Europe and the Contemporary Islamic Civil War: Reflections, Patterns and Comparisons
New York

Recent developments in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, and elsewhere in the Middle East and South Asia suggest growing sectarian antagonism as a major cause of violence in the region.  Are we witnessing a civil war within the Islamic umma?  If so, what are the causes of this conflict?  How does the conflict interact with other (national, ethnic, tribal) sources of conflict?  What forces have sought to mitigate and work against sectarian divisions? Today’s sectarian conflict among Muslims calls to mind the religiously motivated conflict that characterized early modern Europe, when Protestantism emerged as a major challenge to the hegemony of the Catholic Church within the Christian ecumene.  On the basis of a comparative analysis, this conference aims to examine commonalities and differences between the religiously motivated conflict that divided early modern Europe and the contemporary Islamic world.  We aim to look at the various conflicts and negotiations that led to temporary as well as more permanent peace, and we aim to understand how religious repression that was intensified by economic, socio-political, and geographic differences in western Europe have also been part of the Sunni/Shi’a split in places like Iraq and Syria as well as other Islamic countries.

PROGRAM

Thursday, October 23
Skylight Room, 9th Floor, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue @ 34th St.

9:30am – Doors open for coffee, bagels, gathering

10:00 – 10:15am – Comparing Religious Conflicts – Conference Organizers’ Introduction

Karen Barkey, Director, Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, Columbia University
Giancarlo Bosetti, Director, Reset-Dialogue of Civilizations
John Torpey, Director, Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, CUNY Graduate Center

10:15 – 11:15am – Keynotes

Alberto Melloni, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Chase Robinson, Distinguished Professor of History & President, CUNY Graduate Center

11:30am – 12:45pm – 1a – Origins of the Conflicts – Early Modern Europe (region-wide)

Philip M. Soergel
, University of Maryland
Daniel Nexon, Georgetown University
Moderated by: Jean Cohen | Columbia University

1:00 – 2:00pm – Break for lunch 

2:15 – 3:30pm – 1b – Origins of the Conflicts – Contemporary Middle East (region-wide)

Richard Bulliet
, Columbia University
Saïd Arjomand, Stony Brook University
Leila Austin, American University
Moderated by: John Torpey, Director, Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, CUNY Graduate Center

3:30 – 3:45pm – Coffee Break 

4:00 – 5:15pm – 2a – Origins of the Conflicts – Early Modern Europe (country-specific)

Keith Luria
, North Carolina State University
Dagmar Freist, Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg, Germany
Ute Lotz-Heumann, University of Arizona
Moderated by: Anna Akasoy, Hunter College

6:30pm – Dinner (for conference speakers) 


Friday, october 24

Buell Hall, Columbia University, Morningside Campus, 515 W 116
th Street

9:00am – Doors open for coffee, bagels, gathering 
9:30am – 11:30am – 2b – Origins of the Conflicts – Contemporary Middle East (country-specific)

Lydia Wilson, CUNY Graduate Center and Oxford University
Frederic Wehrey, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Fabrice Balanche, University of Lyon 2
Hossein Kamaly, Barnard College
Rana Tanveer, IRCPL/ISHR Fellow, Columbia, and Express Daily Tribune, Pakistan
Moderated by:
Dipali Mukhopadyay, Columbia University

11:45am – 1:00pm – 3a – Solutions to the Conflicts? – Early Modern Europe

Wayne te Brake, Purchase College
Derek Croxton, Author of Westphalia: The Last Christian Peace
Moderated by:
Jean Cohen, Columbia University

1:00 – 2:15pm – Break for lunch

2:30 – 3:45pm – 3b – Solutions to the Conflicts? – Contemporary Middle East

Hans Kippenberg, Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany
James Gelvin, University of California, Los Angeles
Malise Ruthven, New York Review
Moderated by:
Karen Barkey, Director, Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, Columbia University

4:15 – 5:15pm – Roundtable discussion and conclusion

John McNee, Secretary-General, Global Centre for Pluralism, Canada
Karen Barkey, Director, Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, Columbia University
John Torpey
, Director, Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, CUNY Graduate Center
Moderated by: Giancarlo Bosetti, Director, Reset-Dialogue of Civilizations

5:30pm – Wine and cheese reception


Program
on the IRCPL website
More information about the speakers is available here

VENUE:
This two-day conference will take place at the CUNY Graduate Center on Thursday, October 23, and at Columbia University’s Buell Hall on Friday, October 24.

This event is co-sponsored by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, RESET-Dialogues on Civilizations, and the Graduate Center CUNY.

Check this page regularly for updates

IRCPL event website: http://ircpl.org/event/religious-wars/