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Religious Rebellion in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Afghanistan
LUNCHEON 11:30 am., LECTURE 12:00 p.m.

Beyond Religious Violence in South Asia: Conflict and Reconciliation
RECEPTION/DINNER 5:30/6:00 p.m., LECTURE 6:45 p.m.

In recent years South Asia has been rocked by religious rebellions against the secular state--including Sikhs in Punjab, Hindus in India, Buddhists in Sri Lanka, and Muslims in Kashmir, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Based on his case studies and extensive interviews in the region, in the first of two lectures, Juergensmeyer explores the rise of these violent new movements of religious nationalism and puts them into context of global changes.

How can governments respond to the rise of religious violence in South Asia and help to reconcile these religious conflicts? The response to Sikh violence in India, Buddhist violence in Sri Lanka, and Muslim extremism in Pakistan and Afghanistan has had varying degrees of success, in part because the response itself helped to fuel new violence. The presence of U.S. military in Afghanistan lends an additional complication to the conflict. Utilizing conflict resolution approaches advanced by Mohandas Gandhi, In this second and final Athneaeum lecture, Juergensmeyer provides insights into the conflict and possible paths to reconciliation and peace in the region.

Professor Mark Juergensmeyer is Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, professor of sociology, and affiliate professor of religious studies at the U.C. Santa Barbara. He is an expert on religious violence, conflict resolution, and South Asian religion and politics. He has published more than two hundred articles and twenty books, including the recently-released Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State (2008). His book Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence (2003), is based on interviews with religious activists around the world--including individuals convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, leaders of Hamas, and abortion clinic bombers in the United States. It was listed by the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times as one of the best nonfiction books of the year. A previous book, The New Cold War? Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State (1993) covers the rise of religious activism and its confrontation with secular modernity. It was named by the New York Times as one of the notable books of the year. His book Gandhi’s Way (2005) on a Gandhian approach to conflict resolution was selected as Community Book of the Year at the U.C. Davis. He has edited the Oxford Handbook of Global Religion (2006) and Religion in Global Civil Society (2005), and edited The Encyclopedia of Global Religions (2008) and The Encyclopedia of Global Studies (2009). His 2006 Stafford Little Lectures at Princeton University, God and War, will be published by Princeton University Press. He currently serves as President of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), which is the largest scholarly organization of religion scholars around the world with over 8,000 members. Since September 11 he has been a commentator on CNN, NBC, CBS, BBC, NPR, Fox News, and ABC's Politically Incorrect.
This event is sponsored by the CMC Department of Religious Studies, the Athenaeum, and funded by the R.J. Kutten Distinguished Lecturer Fund.