Denison Goodspeed Lecture Series Hosts Michael Sells to Discuss 'Love, War And Islam'
Posted: November 10, 2003
The Denison University Goodspeed Lecture Series hosts Michael Sells to discuss "Love, War and Islam." This convocation, the third and final in a series of lectures on Islam and politics, is set for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 18) in Slayter Auditorium and is free and open to the public.
Sells, professor of religion at Haverford University, is the author of the 1999 bookApproaching the Qur'an, praised as a breakthrough in rendering the Qur'an in a way that allows non-Muslims to more clearly understand the qualities of the Qur'an that make it so important to Muslims. He is currently working on a book titledThe New Crusades: Constructing the Muslim Enemy, a probe into the rise of anti-Islamic sentiment in the West and its relationship to anti-Western anger in the Islamic world, with particular attention to the "clash of civilization" theory that posits an essential and unbridgeable conflict of values between Islam and the West. Sells also wrote four books on Arabic love poetry and Islamic mysticism that aim to open up the deeper worlds of Arabic and Islamic culture.
Sells has been particularly concerned with the way that major aspects of the Islamic culture are not translated into the Western world, noting that the image of Islam in the West is devoid of the tenderness, warmth, humor, satire, intimacy and subtlety that constitute a major aspect of Islamic culture. Sells also works on the fundamentalist and militant versions of Islam and how well-funded fundamentalist missionary groups have succeeded in dominating not only the image of Islam in the West, but the self-representation of Islam among Muslims, a domination that is now beginning to be understood and resisted by Muslim communities.
Sells' lecture is funded by the Goodspeed Lecture Series, which features scholars whose work is in the field of religion or is related to religious issues. The fund is named in honor of the late Edgar J. Goodspeed, a 1890 Denison graduate, who was one of nine biblical scholars who worked on the Revised Standard Version of the Scriptures, published in 1946, which has superceded the King James Version in official usage in many American denominations.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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