Political Islam Lecture Series


Ahmed al-Rahim (Religious Studies)
John Owen (Politics)


The Political Islam Lecture Series (PILS) focuses on the complex relationship which exists between Islam as a world religion and the ideologies of Islamism. The political and security challenge of al-Qaida and now the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to not only the regional powers in the Middle East but also to the West itself is feature of quotidian life in these societies. Through a series of lectures (two in the fall and also in the spring) by the leading scholars of political Islam today, this proposed partnership between the Religion, Politics, and Conflict (RPC) and the Miller Center will shed much needed light on the following pressing questions facing the world today: How has Islam’s modern encounter with the West contributed to a global Muslim identity, particularly in the West?  Which Islamic theological and political concepts are formative to Muslim and Islamic self-definition in and outside of the West? Is Islamic revivalism, both political and religious, unique to the modern Muslim experience or are there comparative religious models to be found in, for example, global evangelical Christianity? And how has Islamism shaped and defined the events leading up to the “Arab Spring” and its aftermath in and beyond the Middle East?

To get involved, contact Ahmed al-Rahim (aa3wn@virginia.edu).