Religion and the Identity in the Middle East: the Rise of the Islamic Radicalism
Presented by The Rev. Dr. David D. Grafton, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies an Christian-Musim Relations, Lutheran Seminar at Philadelphia (LTSP)
About the course:
The “Middle East,” as it is commonly known by Americans, has been a land of fascination, frustration, and fear. May Americans find the tapestry of its peoples, languages, cultures, and religions to be confusing, and yet the Middle East is so prominent in our news and media. These five sessions will look at the cultural perspectives of the people of the Middle East, the Arab Spring, and the rise of Islamic Radicalism as protest movements, including al-Qaeda and Daesh (ISIS). The purpose of this course is to help North American Christians move beyond fear to become creatively engaged as peacemakers and responsible citizens in our own communities.
Thursday, March 31: 7 – 9 p.m.
What is the Middle East?: geography and its effect on identity
This session will review the geography and political arrangement of the modern Middle East and how that has impacted political identities.
Thursday, April 7: 7 – 9 p.m.
Communal Identity: the religious communities of the Middle East
In this session we will provide an overview of the numerous indigenous religious communities of the region. We will also look at general cultural values and the importance of religion on traditional family and communal identity.
Thursday, April 14: 7 – 9 p.m.
The Arab Spring: causes and aspirations
This session will uncover the source of general discontent of the last twenty years, and the hopes of the “soft revolutions.”
Thursday, April 21: 7 – 9 p.m.
Sources of Islamic Radicalism in the Middle East, part I
The final two sessions will look at the responses to Arab Nationalism, the 1967 was, and the “failed states” of the Middle East. Islamic Radicalism will be defined and placed with in the broader category of other Muslim pieties.
Thursday, April 28: 7 – 9 p.m.
Sources of Islamic Radicalism in the Middle East, part II
Viewed from the historical and cultural framework of the last four sessions the final session will loo at the rise of al-Qaeda and DAESH (ISIS), and Muslim responses to these organizations.
All are welcome to view the webinar at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 7 Wescott Road, Simsbury, CT