Bates to hold symposium on Islam in the modern world

Islam in the Modern World, a two-day symposium, will be held from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 3, and from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4, in the Benjamin Mays Center, 95 Russell St. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

The symposium is fourth in the Bates College Symposia in Religion and Contemporary Issues series, which focuses on issues of religious tolerance and diversity. The conference is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Bates, with support from a variety of Bates offices including the deans of the faculty and college, the president, the chaplain, affirmative action and the chairs of social sciences and interdisciplinary studies.

“Islam is a rapidly growing faith in this country, and interreligious understanding necessitates that we talk about the Islamic traditions,” said John Strong, chair and professor of philosophy and religion.

The symposium will begin on at 2:30 Friday, March 3, with registration and introductory remarks. Professor Timothy Gianotti, Penn State University, will discuss The Modern Face of a Medieval Ideal: al Farabi’s al-Madina al-fadila (Virtuous City) and the Islamic Republic of Iran at 4 p.m. Filmmaker Lindsay Miller, senior editor of Morning Edition, WBUR, Boston, will present the film Islam in America at 6:30 p.m. in Room 105 of the Olin Arts Center, 75 Russell St.

The March 4 schedule of presentations, all in the Benjamin Mays Center, includes:

  • 10 a.m. — Professor Charles Kurzman, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, on Liberal Islam: Not a Contradiction in Terms
  • 1 p.m. — Professor Joel Gordon, University of Arkansas, on Secular Civics and the Onscreen Religious Other in Egypt: Viewing Backward
  • 3 p.m. — Professor Salah Moukhlis, University of Meknes, Morocco, on Islam and Identity in the Contemporary Maghrib.

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