Islam and Religious Pluralism?

04/21/2014, 4:00 am

308A Doe Library

Roxanne L. Euben (Wellesley)


The Goldman School of Public Policy presents a research lecture by Roxanne L. Euben, Ralph Emerson and Alice Freeman Palmer Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College.

"Questions about the relationship between Islam and religious pluralism often descend into claims and counter-claims about the intolerance or ecumenicalism of Islam. Rather than posing Islam as a distinctive challenge to religious pluralism and pluralism as a particular challenge to Islam, I outline an Islamic ethos of talab al-'ilm (travel in search of knowledge), and argue that it constitutes an exhortation to Muslims to regard openness to and appreciation of religious pluralism as an enactment of Islamic piety. I then examine to two concrete examples of travel in search of knowledge to make visible those contingent and mundane mechanisms through which dislocating exposures to different peoples, as well as to their beliefs and practices, can yield a relative openness and even willingness to learn from them."

Euben is the author of Enemy in the Mirror: Islamic Fundamentalism and the Limits of Modern Rationalism(Princeton University Press, 1999), Journeys to the Other Shore: Muslim and Western Travelers in Search Of Knowledge (Princeton University Press, 2006), and writer/editor (with Muhammad Qasim Zaman) ofPrinceton Readings in Islamist Thought: Texts and Contexts from Al-Banna to Bin Laden (Princeton University Press, 2009). Her work has also appeared in such academic journals as Political Theory, Perspectives on Politics, The Journal of Politics, International Studies Review, The Review of Politics and Political Psychology. She has previously been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and American Council of Learned Societies.