Author and Scholar Mark Juergensmeyer To Visit CMC April 21 for Lectures on Religious Rebellion and Conflict Resolution

Recent President of the American Academy of Religion Mark Juergensmeyer, who serves as director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies the University of California, Santa Barbara, will visit the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum on Wednesday, April 21 for both a lunchtime and dinner presentation. Juergensmeyer’s 11:30 a.m. and noon address, Religious Rebellion in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, is open to the public, with free seating on a first-come basis. Later that evening, he will discuss, Beyond Religious Violence in South Asia: Conflict and Reconciliation. The dinner begins at 5:45 p.m., and the public portion of his second address begins at 6:45, also with free seating on a first-come basis. His visit to Claremont is sponsored by the CMC department of religious studies.

Juergensmeyer, a member of the board and former president of the American Academy of Religion (the largest scholarly organization of religion scholars around the world), is an expert on religious violence, conflict resolution, and South Asian religion and politics.

His lunchtime lecture on religious rebellion examines how 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, Juergensmeyer explores the rise of violent new movements of religious nationalism and puts them into context of global changes.

During his evening address, Juergensmeyer will examine ways governments can respond to the rise of religious violence in South Asia to help 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, he says, 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, Juergensmeyer provides insights into the conflict and possible paths to reconciliation and peace in the region.

In addition to his role as director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, Juergensmeyer is a professor of sociology and affiliate professor of religious studies at the U.C. Santa Barbara. He has published more than 200 articles and 20 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 worldincluding 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 also 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. Juergensmeyer 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 L.J. Kutten Distinguished Lecturer Fund. For more information, contact professor Gast?n Espinosa, gaston.espinosa@cmc.edu.