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The Ethics of Jihad and What Islam Is


February 16, 2016
7:30 pm - 8:50 pm
Event Category:


Building 260, Room 113

Lecture by Alexander Key (Stanford University). Sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies.

Part of a lecture series on “Religion, Violence, Nonviolence,” offered in conjunction with RELIGST 29 and RELIGST 119. Free and open to the public. Stanford students may register for credit; see Explore Courses for information.

For full list of lectures in the series, click here.

Alexander Key, Assistant Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature, works on Arabic and Islamic scholarship. His interests range across the literary and intellectual history of the Arabic and Persian-speaking worlds from the seventh century, together with Western political thought and philosophy. He is currently writing a book, Arabic Theory: the eleventh century of Ibn Furak, Ragib, Avicenna, and Jurjani.

In Spring quarter 2016 he will teach CompLit 38Q “Ethics of Jihad” for the third time. The course introduces Islamic ethics to sophomores by focusing on ways in which people have chosen, rejected, or redefined jihad. Topics include jihad in the age of 1001 Nights, feminist jihad, jihad in Africa, ISIS, and the hashtag #MyJihad. In his Religst 29 lecture, he will discuss his experiences of and plans for this course, and deal with the new contribution of Shahab Ahmed to the debate in What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic. (Princeton, 2015). This book is available (and recommended) from booksellers: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10587.html and the library.