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Muslim and Jew: Rethinking the Paradigm


October 1, 2014
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


Bldg. 360 conference room

Colloquium with Aaron Hughes (University of Rochester). For Religious Studies, Abbasi Program, and Jewish Studies faculty, graduate students, and Stanford-affiliated guests. Co-sponsored by Religious Studies, the Taube Center for Jewish Studies, and the Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies.  Dinner served; RSVP to Ai Tran.

“Judaism and Islam” comprises a basic narrative in our collective imagination, a narrative that is simultaneously scholarly, political, and romantic: “back then,” so it goes, relations were better and that the solution to today’s problems between Muslim and Jew, Arab and Israeli, can be solved or at least better understood when set against the longue durée of their perceived historical cooperation. The narratives that we choose to describe the interaction between these two religions, including the descriptors we invoke to delineate it, are based less on the past than they are on the messy present. This paper/presentation seeks to interrogate some of the traditional paradigms used to contextualize Jewish-Muslim relations, especially in the premodern period.

Aaron W. Hughes holds the Philip S. Bernstein Chair in Jewish Studies at the University of Rochester. Hughes was educated at the University of Alberta, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Oxford University. He received his PhD in Religious Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington in 2000.   He has taught at Miami University of Ohio, McMaster University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Calgary, and the University at Buffalo. He is the author of over 50 articles and 10 books, and the editor of 7 books. His book titles include The Texture of the Divine: Imagination in Medieval Islamic and Jewish Thought (Indiana, 2004), Abrahamic Religions: On the Uses and Abuses of History (Oxford, 2012), Muslim Identities: An Introduction to Islam (Columbia, 2013), The Study of Judaism: Identity, Authenticity, Scholarship (SUNY, 2013), and Rethinking Jewish Philosophy: Beyond Particularism and Universalism (Oxford, 2014). He is also the Editor-in-chief of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, and the forthcoming 20-volume Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophy.