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The Yeni Valide Mosque, Scutari, Constantinople, 1890-1900. From the Photochrom Prints Collection, Library of Congress

Siemens Lecture

A Brief History of Anti-Sectarianism in the Arab World

Scholars of the Middle East have long searched for what they have described as the “roots” of sectarianism. But the idea that there is a stable category of religious division treats the Arab world’s religiosity as a monolith that runs uninterrupted from the medieval to modern era. In this talk, Ussama Makdisi counters this position by drawing attention to the now-obscured Arab tradition of anti-sectarianism, an ethical stance that promotes a cohesive and emancipated political community that transcends religious difference. This tradition can be seen, Makdisi argues, in calls for unity and equality between Muslim and non-Muslim Arabs during the dramatic transformations of the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire, and in the twentieth-century secular Arab nationalist and socialist currents of the Middle East.

13 Feb 18
19:30 - 21:00
American Academy in Berlin
Am Sandwerder 17-19
14109 Berlin-Wannsee

This even took place on February 13, 2018.

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