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Message from the Director

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e are flooded with stories that capture the power and persistence of religious identities and convictions in the contemporary world. Almost all the stories underscore the propensity of religion to foster intolerance, conflict and violence—from the political turmoil engulfing Egypt, to sectarian violence in the Middle East, to anti-Muslim violence spearheaded by Buddhist monks in Burma, to battles over sexuality and reproductive freedom in the US. And on. And on. Our work at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict digs beneath the surface of these stories to uncover the broader range of factors—political, economic, psychological, territorial— that combine with religion to foster conflict and violence. Only then can we understand, diagnose, and begin to resolve the conflicts. But we also seek to capture the ways in which religion advances humane values and modes of co-existence. This part of the picture can drop out of sight if the media is allowed to filter all of reality. We need to know what forms of religion, when, where, and why, advance constructive social transformations. In the past year our research projects, educational programs, and public events have tackled various aspects of the intersections of religion, conflict and peacemaking. They have generated knowledge and insights that advance understanding across lines of division, and sparked imaginative new thinking about some of the greatest challenges of our day. I invite you to read about the ideas, the people, and the programs here at ASU and those that link us to a larger global network. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of The Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict. We are grateful to all those who have helped to advance our work. Our most ambitious goals and impact still lie ahead. Your support is indispensable to making this happen.

Linell Cady


Table of Contents

CSRC Year in Review

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Research Luce Project on Religion and International Affairs

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From Jeremiad to Jihad: New book explores theme of religion, violence and America

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NEH grant to bring clarity to the understanding of Salafism

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“Hate is the Real Destroyer”: An Interview with Yasmin Saikia

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Tolerance and Religious Group Conflict

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Global Group Relations Project

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What does the future of the human look like? New project explores religion’s role in shaping technological innovation

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Special Section From Idea to Reality: The Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict Marks a Decade of Work

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Friends of the Center

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Events Theologies of Prosperity in an Age of Economic Inequality

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The Competing Moral Visions that Shape American Politics

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The Longest War: America and Al Qaeda

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Peace, Alienation, and the Emerging Global Community

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Education Undergraduate Research Fellows, 2012-13

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Undergradate fellow presents at Harvard research conference

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Friends of the Center Student Research Awards

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Journalism Major Goes Behind the Veil to Learn About Islam

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Undergraduate Certificate in Religion and Conflict

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CSRC Year in Review highlights from the 2012-13 academic year

August Historical Society/ Templeton Foundation grant awarded to Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Ben Hurlbut, “The Transhumanist Imagination”

September Release of associate director John Carlson’s From Jeremiad to Jihad: Religion, Violence & America (University of California Press, with Jonathan Ebel)

October

November

Religion and Conflict: Alternative Visions Lecture Series

Hardt-Nickachos Lectures in Religion, Conflict and Peace Studies

• J ames Morone: “Saints, Sinners and Power: The Role of Religion in a Secular Government”

• F red Dallmayr: “Cosmopolitanism: Dialogue and the Search for Cosmos”

Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Speaker on Religion and Conflict • J onathan L. Walton: “Lifestyles of the (Not So) Rich and Religious: Theological Prosperity in an Age of Economic Inequality”

December Release of Tranhsumanist Imagination special journal section, Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, December issue Op-ed by associate director John Carlson on Obama’s foreign policy published in Religion & Politics International Workshop on Ethnic Politics

ETHNIC POLITICS

Announcement of 2012–13 Undergraduate Research Fellows

Workshop IV

Conversations at the Center

Minerva Research Presentation, Washington, D.C.

•R  on E. Hassner: “Religion and Strategic Targeting in World War II”

Launch of Hardt-Nickachos Peace Research Seminar Conversations at the Center

Conversations at the Center

•H  uaiyu Chen and Zhange Ni: “Religion in Conflict: Modern East Asia”

• I mam Feisal Rauf: “Islam and Pluralism”

Community Panel Discussions • “The Legal Response to Hate Speech: Should the U.S be more like Europe?” • “Guantanamo: Ethics & Law, Religion & Politics” (with Valley Beit Midrash)

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•N  eslihan Cevik: “Muslimism in Turkey and Beyond”

Dec.13–14, 2012 West Hall Arizona State University

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences | Institute for Social Science Research | School of Politics and Global Studies


January CSRC marks 10th year anniversary

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February CSRC Minerva Program Review and PI Meeting CSRC Undergraduate Fellow Megan Best presents at Harvard Undergraduate Research Conference

March Conversations at the Center •A  nna Grzymala-Busse: “The Sacralization of Democratic Politics in Europe and Beyond”

•P  eter Bergen: “The Longest War: America and Al-Qaeda”

May

Hardt-Nickachos Lectures in Religion, Conflict and Peace Studies

Release of report “Religion and International Affairs: Through the Prism of Rights and Gender”

•A  keel Bilgrami: “Politics, Value and Alienation”

Religion and International Affairs: Through the Prism of Rights and Gender a project funded by the Henry Luce Foundation

National Endowment for the Humanities grant awarded to Mark Woodward, “Reimagining Salafism” Religion and Conflict: Alternative Visions Lecture Series

April

Conversations at the Center • J onathan Fine: “The Arab Spring: Between Hopes and Challenges”

• S usan Harjo: “The Politics of Native American Religious Freedom”

Transhumanist Imagination Lecture Series

Transhumanist Imagination Lecture Series •W  orkshop on “Technologies of Imagination: Fifty Years Beyond Man and His Future”

2012-13 Certificates in Religion and Conflict awarded

Technologies of Imagination Fifty years beyond Man and His Future

•G  regg Zachary: “Vannevar Bush, the Endless Frontier, and Human Enhancement”

Friday April 5, 2013

8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Social Sciences, Rm. 109

The Ethics of Imagination Moderator: Jenny Brian (ASU)

•Nathan Crowe (ASU) •Nasser Zakariya (NYU) •John Evans (UCSD)

Science and the Public Imagination

Moderator: Edward Finn (ASU)

•Gregg Zachary (ASU) •Marcy Darnovsky (CGS) •Brice Laurent (CSI, Mines ParisTech)

Imagining Sustainable Futures •Kyoko Sato (Stanford) •Gaymon Bennett (Fred Hutchinson) •Clark Miller (ASU) Reflections

Moderator: Ben Hurlbut (ASU)

•David Guston (ASU)

Policy + Law

Moderator: Rolf Halden (ASU)

•“  Politics and Religion” (with Arizona Humanities Council)

SoLS Program on Bioethics,

Welcome •Ben Hurlbut (ASU)

Community Panel Discussions

Conversations at the Center

Friends of the Center Student Research Awards Announced

Co-sponsored by the Center for Biology and Society Program on Bioethics, Policy and Law, School of Life Sciences; Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict; Institute for Humanities Research; and Center for Science and the Imagination For more information visit http://cbs.asu.edu

•W  innifred Sullivan: “Ministries of Presence: Chaplains as Priests of the Secular”

http://cbs.asu.edu

•B  rice Laurent: “Governance, Progress and Converging Technologies” Special Event • S teven Neuberg: “The Bad, the Ugly—but Maybe Some Good?—of Religion and Intergroup Relations”

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Luce Project on Religion and International Affairs Report sheds light on conflicts over religion and women’s rights in global contexts

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omen’s education, reproductive rights, female genital cutting/mutilation, and women’s dress. These are just a few of the topics commonly used to support the idea that the Religion and International Affairs: world is locked in a clash of civilizations. Through the Prism of Rights While gender issues often are at the center of and Gender a project funded by the Henry Luce Foundation debates concerning religion and contemporary society, there is an ongoing need to investigate how polarized narratives about clashing civilizations can affect and limit the pursuit of human rights and gender justice. A new report issued by the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict highlights a critical need for flexibility and adaptability in addressing women’s rights on the ground. The report, “Religion and International Affairs: Through the Prism of Rights and Gender,” contains a series of reflective essays that grew out of a multi-year research project that was funded “…women often play critical by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. The project, active roles in both shaping which was co-directed by Linell understandings of human rights Cady, director of the center, and Carolyn Warner, professor in their societies, as well as living, and head of the political science interpreting, and contesting the faculty, explored the dynamics of human rights, religion, and multiple dimensions of their gender with an interdisciplinary religious practices and identities.” lens. “Although we are all —Miki Kittilson speaking about the critical importance of rights to gender justice, the different reflection pieces in the report consider some of the challenges, obstacles, and limitations—particularly in relation to religion— as they play out in national and international contexts,” says Cady. A common challenge in many places in the world can often be found in how people at local levels perceive the international pursuit of gender rights. For example, Zilka Spahic´-Šiljak, a professor at the University of Sarajevo and one of the project’s international fellows, explains some of the legal and conceptual issues that are specific to Bosnia and Herzegovina. “Gender equality is formally accepted by state institutions,” according to Spahic´-Šiljak, “but the mindset of ordinary citizens doesn’t find it natural and applicable in their own lives. It is perceived as something imported from the West 4

and imposed by the state, and not an authentic or local initiative.” Because of views like these that are common in many parts of the world, many contributors to the project see potential solutions to advancing women’s rights in approaches that use multiple frameworks. One example of the type of flexibility that is needed was articulated by Marzia Basel, a former judge in Afghanistan who spent a month on campus giving lectures and speaking with students as an international visiting fellow with the project. “A functional legal system in Afghanistan, one that can be both applied by the professionals and accepted by the population, will require incorporation of certain aspects of Islamic and customary law, within the limits imposed by human rights considerations,” says Basel. This concept of legal pluralism suggested by Basel was supported by other scholars who see a need for being adaptable in order to take advantage of all the resources available to pursue gender justice. “I think when we’re talking about development and policy we need to be able to engage with a plurality of actors and a plurality of spaces,” says Mariz Tadros, a former journalist from Egypt who is now a fellow at the Institute for Development Studies in the UK and one of the project’s visiting scholars. “In cases where the Sharia advances women’s rights, let us use the Sharia. In cases where it’s the international human rights convention, then let us use the international human rights convention. In cases where it is the national constitution, let us use the national constitution,” says Tadros. Basel’s and Tadros’s views were also echoed by visiting scholar Hauwa Ibrahim, a human rights lawyer from Nigeria who successfully appealed a series of important cases for women who had been sentenced to death through her deep understanding and use of Sharia law. Scholars involved in the project also discuss how some people achieve goals related to women’s rights without making an appeal to the universality of human rights discourse. “Rather than assuming human rights can or must bear all of the burdens to improve women’s lives, these findings demonstrate the need for alternate discourses of human dignity that can refine, reform, or, when necessary, replace human


rights,” says John Carlson, a member of the project team and associate director of the center. “The human rights community seems to have fallen into the trap of thinking that religious traditions, doctrines, and practices are static and permanent and that they cannot be reformed,” observes Carolyn Warner. “Those who have traveled from Afghanistan, Nigeria, and other countries to contribute to our project make clear that religious beliefs and traditions can be vital to supporting women’s rights.” Yasmin Saikia, professor of history and the Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies, suggests that one way to reframe these debates is to recognize concepts of human rights that are found in religious traditions that predate international human rights languages. “Notions of ‘the human’ and ‘rights’ are embedded in Islamic thought and tradition,” says Saikia. “Reconnecting with the Islamic roots of human rights is essential for the human flourishing and development of Muslims, women especially.” These constructive statements about the need to broaden the resources available to address gender rights speak to another key finding, and that is the recognition of women’s agency. “Women are not always victims or passive ‘sites’ of human rights abuses,” says Miki Kittilson, associate professor of political science. “Rather, women often play critical active roles in both shaping understandings of human rights in their societies, as well as living, interpreting, and contesting the multiple dimensions of their religious practices and identities.” Overall, the findings expressed in the report challenge those working in academic and policy arenas, as well as the more general reader, to move beyond simplistic popular narratives about religion and gender, and appreciate a fuller range of strategies for addressing the intersections of rights, women, and religion.

Report Authors With a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, the project “Religion and International Affairs: Through the Prism of Rights and Gender” brought together scholars and practitioners from ASU, the US and abroad to address this complex set of issues. Essays by the report authors reflect the often contentious and passionate discussion and debate generated in the context of the project’s activities, which included a multiyear faculty seminar, team-taught graduate seminars, engagement with international fellows, visiting scholars and practitioners, new research and an international conference. As reflected in the report, the project grappled with—and challenged—enduring assumptions about religion and the clash of civilizations to envision a richer and more diverse set of resources to advance justice for women and foster human flourishing and mutual understanding around the world.

Linell Cady (Project Director) Director, Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies

Carolyn Warner (Project Director) Professor of Political Science

Marzia Basel Luce International Fellow and Founder, Afghanistan Progressive Law Organization and Afghan Women Judges Association

John Carlson Associate Director, Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and Associate Professor of Religious Studies

Miki Kittilson Associate Professor of Political Science

Daniel Rothenberg Professor of Practice of Politics and Global Studies

Rebecca Tsosie Executive Director, Indian Legal Program and Regents’ Professor of Law

Yasmin Saikia Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies and Professor of History

Zilka Spahc´-Šiljak Luce International Fellow, former Deputy Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Post-graduate Studies, University of Sarejevo and Visiting Scholar, Harvard University’s Women’s Studies in Religion Program

Story by Matt Correa Report available online at genderrightsandreligion.csrc.asu.edu

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From Jeremiad to Jihad: New book explores theme of religion, violence and America

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John Carlson, associate director of the center and associate professor of religious studies, co-edited the book. He teaches and writes on issues of religion, ethics, war and peace. Inset: An image of radical abolitionist John Brown appears on the cover of From Jeremiad to Jihad. The book grew out of a conference convened by the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict.

he attacks on the United States by Islamic terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001 led inevitably to a heightened interest in the relationship between religion and violence. As a new book of essays co-edited by an Arizona State University ethicist makes clear, however, the convergence of religion and violence symbolized by 9/11 was nothing new for America. The book, From Jeremiad to Jihad: Religion, Violence & America, traces the many faces of religion, force, violence and war in America’s domestic record and history of foreign affairs. The book grows out of a multidisciplinary conference held by ASU’s Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and features historical, ethical, political, cultural, theological and rhetorical perspectives. “This book seeks to raise deep questions and concerns that anyone interested in earnestly understanding America’s history and national identity can ill afford to ignore,” says John Carlson, the ASU ethicist who co-edited the volume. “Our aim is to help readers understand how violence, religion, and the relationship between them have informed the American experience.” The title From Jeremiad to Jihad reflects the book’s chronological framework. The essays cover the period from the jeremiads of the early American colonists to the anti-American jihadists behind 9/11, and the war on terrorism that ensued. Jeremiad, as defined in the book, is “a biblically rooted, sustained lament about a nation or people and their failure to live up to divinely ordained ideals.” The term is inspired by the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah, who warned of Jerusalem’s destruction for forsaking God. Jihad is an Arabic word meaning “struggle” or “exertion” to follow the path of God. It can refer to a struggle against internal immoral impulses, known as the greater jihad, or against the perceived enemies of Islam, sometimes involving violence. The term became part of the American 6

lexicon in the aftermath of 9/11. Scholars from 15 American universities including Duke, Princeton and the University of Chicago offer their reflections in the volume. The book is divided into three parts focused on 1) religious justifications for and explanations of violence, 2) American constructions of the religious “other” and 3) ethical questions about war and violence. Part I considers key moments in U.S. history in which religious ideas of covenant, providence, and jeremiad have shaped the nation’s origins, identity and sense of purpose. From the Puritans’ arrival on the Arbella to speeches from Woodrow Wilson during World War I and John Foster Dulles during the Cold War, religious symbols and concepts have pervaded American culture. Part II includes chapters examining Anglo-American Protestants’ relationships with Native Americans, Catholics and Mormons; violence in the American West in the 19th and 20th centuries; and how religious themes surrounded the 2007 Virginia Tech murders. Part III explores ethical questions related to the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and the war on terror. “The contents of this book are strikingly diverse,” notes Martin E. Marty, the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, who wrote the forward. “The book recognizes that relevant features of jihad overlap with jeremiads running through many features of American life, from colonial domestic scenes to postmodern global terrors.” Carlson, an associate professor of religious studies in ASU’s School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies and associate director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, co-edited “From Jeremiad to Jihad” with Jonathan Ebel, an associate professor at the University of Illinois. Story by Barby Grant


NEH grant to bring clarity to the understanding of Salafism

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ince the Arab Spring, Salafists have become powerful political players in the Middle East, raising concerns among policymakers. But what is Salafism? An internet search brings up information about a militant group of extremist fundamentalist Muslims who seek to insure that their own version of Islam will dominate the world. It also reveals that Salafism was cited as one of the fastest growing religious movements on the planet. But, according to Mark Woodward, a faculty affiliate of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and associate professor of religious studies, much of what is written about Salafism is religiously or politically motivated. In policy literature, the term is often used as shorthand for terrorism. In reality, however, many Muslim groups claim to be Salafist, and not all are violent. Woodward leads a team of researchers who were recently awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to help bring clarity to the understanding of Salafism. Their focus will be on Southeast Asia, where the oldest and largest Salafi organization in the world is based. “Salafism is the driving force behind movements ranging from al Qaeda to quietist groups living pious lives in self-imposed social isolation,” says Woodward. “Because these diverse groups share religious teachings and symbols, scholars, policymakers and intelligence analysts often have difficulty distinguishing between violent and nonviolent Salafis.” The term Salafi means “pious forbearers” in a general sense. It specifically refers to the first three generations of Muslims (salaf). Many, perhaps most, schools of Muslim thought claim to be the upholders of this tradition. Groups including Sufi traditionalists, self-designated modernists, nonviolent Wahhabi fundamentalists and terrorist groups all claim to be Salafist. Woodward and his team plan to construct a comprehensive inventory of historical and contemporary Salafi movements in Southeast Asia, which is home to at least 300 million of the world’s approximately 1.5 billion Muslims. Salafism has a long history and continuous presence in the region dating to the 17th century. “By clarifying the varieties of Salafism and their significance for global and regional religiousbased conflict, we think our research will have important policy implications,” notes Woodward.

“Our goal is to contribute to the development of new interpretive lenses through which other regions and religious traditions can be clearly viewed.” Woodward is a prominent anthropologist who has been engaged in the study of Islam and politics and religion in Southeast Asia since the late 1970s. Two of his three project collaborators are graduates of ASU’s religious studies program who now teach in Indonesia. The third collaborator works for Radio Singapore. The team will conduct research in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Southern Thailand and Saudi Arabia. Woodward also directs the center’s project, “Finding Alllies for the War of Words: Mapping the Diffusion and Influence of Counter-radical Muslim Discourse,” which spans three continents. Among the researchers’ goals in this project is to determine the extent and structure of Salafi networks in the region, and learn which economic, religious and social factors are influencing the spread of Salafi teachings. A major research focus will be the importance of gender in Salafi discourse and religious practice. The team will conduct interviews with leaders and members of Salafi women’s organizations and also examine sermons delivered at gendersegregated religious gatherings. Major outcomes of the three-year research project will include the first book-length study of the history, influence and contemporary significance of Salafism in Southeast Asia and a series of white papers aimed at a policy audience that will be disseminated online. Story by Barby Grant

Mark Woodward, principal investigator on a new research grant investigating the varieties of Salafism in Southeast Asia, standing in front of Masjid Jami’ Kebarongan at Pondok Pesantren Madrasah Wathaniyah Islamiyah in Kebarongan, Central Java, Indonesia. It is one of the oldest Salafi mosques in Indonesia.


“Hate is the Real Destroyer”: An Interview with Yasmin Saikia

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asmin Saikia joined the Center as the first holder of the Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies in 2010. Since then, she has organized a major international conference on Women, Islam and Peacebuilding, traveled to England, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Bosnia, Croatia, Turkey, Cyprus and Iraq for speaking tours and field research, headed up a faculty research colloquium, organized a series of lectures by leading scholars of peace, and led an initiative to create new courses in peace studies at ASU. We recently caught up with her, to hear her reflections on peace studies, and how her visits to conflict zones have changed her ideas. Q: Now that you have been in this position for a few years, have your ideas about peace studies changed?

“We live in a realm of possibility. Peace is one of these possibilities… But everyday we must make the choice to pursue and create this potential reality of the world.”

The peace studies work within academia is heavily focused on what I call an activist approach. This mostly involves the documentation, mapping, and recording of data relating to violent and nonviolent movements across the globe. Academic research is constantly trying to map what is happening and see how certain interventions have taken place. This is an important part of the puzzle, but I don’t yet see a vision of peace, of people asking, “What is the future?”. I wonder how we can start to shift the field and ask this question. What are the impediments to doing a different kind of research? In thinking differently? This is what I am trying to work on. Q: It sounds like your ideas about peace may have also changed… I worry that peace has become a hollow term, a feel good term that just refers to the absence of war. But in my research I have seen that when war ends peace does not necessarily follow. Rather, the end of war is just the place where conflict begins. War is a drama. Conflict is every day. It is not that peace is impossible after war, just that war doesn’t end and bring peace in and of itself. It just creates a different kind of terrain in which different partners are bickering now for the resources and goods. And it’s temporary, peace is temporary, like conflict is temporary, like war is temporary. You have to work hard to extend and sustain peace. 8

Human life is dynamic, everything is changing constantly. We live in a realm of possibility. Peace is one of these possibilities, but to expect that once you arrive at the place where people get along with their neighbors—you can’t expect that this is going to go on forever. Everyday we must make the choice to pursue and create this potential reality of the world. Q: I know you do a lot of on-the-ground field research. When trying to inspire students, it seems like one of the biggest challenges would be that you can’t replicate all the places you go and the people you meet. How do you transmit what you have seen? Is it through numbers, like saying “hundreds of thousands of people died,” does that actually make the point? That is a great question. When you are relating the impact of war to someone, do they turn the lives of actual people into just a population or just a statistic? Or do they relate to this number as something that is frightening, that so many people died? Or do you get an image of a person in the midst of those numbers and what their life might have been or might be like? Novels, biographies, media, all of that is very helpful, but as to the question of transmitting, no amount of writing or showing images or giving numbers can really convey the enormity of what life and violence means to people who live those things every day. But at the same time, you have to have some medium through which to move beyond this bafflement. How do you develop that steady look into violence and lives of real people and appreciate how much they appreciate life? For example, I went to a place in Sulaimaniyah, in Kurdistan, Iraq. They had a memorial called Red Security Museum where Saddam Hussein tortured Kurd dissidents. In the Red Security Museum, they have built a memorial of glass for all those people who died due to torture and the use of chemical weapons. At first the memorial looked like rooms and rooms of pieces of glass. But there were 182,000 shards of glass. That was the number of people who were killed in 15 villages. When you have gone to such a place, experienced its silence, talked to the people nearby, you have something to show students,


to say to students. “Look, this is not just a glass palace, it’s actually an act of remembering, each shard of glass is actually a human being.” It can have a profound effect. It is an immense responsibility being the narrator, transmitter, carrier of the lives of others and I take this responsibility very seriously. When people tell you their stories you become a caretaker. The caring is not just preserving the story for posterity in a book, but conveying it and becoming a conduit through which people can be connected. Q: So do you feel that you could do this without all the travel? I could not, no. I had no idea, honestly, how significant this is until I started doing it. I have read, watched TV shows and news items on violence. I had no idea what it was really like in some of these countries until I visited them. In Pakistan, there are bomb blasts here and there throughout the day. What I realized after spending time there was that the bombs are not the most fearful thing. The frightful thing is the hatred behind them. There you find a violence that is so deep, that you can do horrible things to yourself and others. Hate is far more potent, infectious, and insidious than a bomb blast. This realization was reinforced for me after going to Iraq as well. The capacity to hate is really the destroyer. Bombs are a kind of violence that one can pinpoint on a map, even contain through security

measures, but the hatred is lasting and cancerous. That made it all the more amazing to see the healing in areas like Bosnia and Croatia. When you really have to live with a neighbor who killed your brother, such as happened in Bosnia and Croatia, and then you hear people say, “It’s okay if my son or daughter marries a Serbian or if my next door neighbor is a Serbian…,” when you hear that you know there is hope. To hear someone talk about how they survived while their family died and then work with those who they fought against to rebuild a country, a city, a community. Can a class lecture really convey that wisdom? If I didn’t travel, I would have never been able to tell you what I am telling you. Not with this much confidence and this much compassion. There are things happening on our watch. How are we each dealing with it? It is not that we can make big changes or that we have to make big changes. It is just required for us to live and respect that other person. And that must be done every day, every hour, every instance. It is not some enemy that you’re going to respect suddenly. It has more to do with how we cultivate respect— not just for those around us, but also those faraway. If we cultivate that habit, then maybe we will be able to respond more positively. By making peace an everyday reality, we may create that potential for the world. Interview conducted and edited for length by Richard Ricketts

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The Red Security Museum in Sulaimaniyah in Kurdistan, Iraq, which Saikia visited in 2013. Each of the shards of glass represents someone who was killed by Saddam Hussein’s regime. The challenge, says Saikia, is how to convey such experiences so that people can feel connected. (Photo courtesy of Joe Scarangella, joestrippin.blogspot.com)

“When people tell you their stories you become a caretaker. The caring is not just preserving the story for posterity in a book, but conveying it and becoming a conduit through which people can be connected.”


Tolerance and Religious Group Conflict

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ollowing events like the August 2012 shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin or the 2013 Boston marathon bombing, religious leaders and government officials often come forward to publicly advocate tolerance toward minority religious groups. They believe that further violence can be reduced by urging their followers and the general public to be more accepting and tolerant of other groups. Messages of tolerance have long been thought to have the potential to reduce forms of What Filip-Crawford did find was that interpersonal and intergroup high-risk groups were less likely to conflict ranging from simple prejudices to abhorrent acts of engage in more severe forms of conflict violence. One of the goals of the if they were exposed to tolerance Global Group Relations Project messages. And it was tolerance is to explore this link.

messages from religious and ethnic leaders—not government officials— that predicted lower levels of symbolic aggression, individual violence, and collective violence.

The ASU Global Group Relations Project

Understanding the role religion plays in both peace and conflict has been a long-standing goal of scholars across academic disciplines. The Global Group Relations Project at ASU was launched with a seed grant from the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict in 2005, and has received additional funding from the National Science Foundation and the Institute for Social Science Research. Steve Neuberg, Foundation Professor of Psychology, leads the group, which includes researchers from psychology, political science, communications, sociology, and religious studies. The project has taken an innovative approach to studying the role of religion in conflict by surveying area experts across a wide variety of sites and groups across the world—nearly 100 sites and 200 groups in all. Using these data, project researchers found that religious infusion (that is, the degree to which religion is a part of everyday life), differing levels of access to economic resources and political power, and incompatible values between religious groups and the surrounding society independently and interactively predict enhanced intergroup conflict. Of particular interest, incompatible values among groups predicted high levels of prejudice 10

Gabrielle Filip-Crawford, doctoral student in psychology, won a Friends of the Center Research Award for her work on the effect of messages of religious tolerance on intergroup conflict.

and discrimination only when religious infusion was high. Moreover, whereas groups with limited power typically refrain from conflict with their highpower counterparts—in what appears to be a case of rational decision-making—these same groups become especially likely to engage in individual and collective violence when they are highly religiously infused. The Current Investigation Despite these strong, intriguing effects, researchers in the Global Groups Relations Project observed that some groups engaged in more conflict than one would expect based on religious infusion and the other factors, whereas other groups engaged in less conflict than one would expect based on these same factors. Why? With the help of a fellowship from the Friends of the Center Awards Program, Gabrielle FilipCrawford, a doctoral student working with the group, set out to answer this question. She extended the above research by exploring whether messages of tolerance are associated with decreased levels of intergroup conflict. She was especially interested in groups one would expect to be high in conflict given their levels of religious infusion, resource or power advantages or disadvantages, and their degree of value incompatibility. Specifically, Filip-Crawford explored whether “high-risk groups” engage in


less conflict than one would expect if they also receive strong messages of tolerance. She was also interested whether it made a difference if the messages of tolerance came from (1) their government, (2) their religious leaders, (3) their ethnic-group leaders, and/or (4) the teachings of their religion. It turns out that high-risk groups exposed to messages of tolerance were not less likely to be negatively prejudiced or less likely to engage in interpersonal discrimination in their work or personal relationships. In fact, these groups were equally prejudiced and discriminatory regardless of whether they were exposed to tolerance messages or not. What Filip-Crawford did find was that high-risk groups were less likely to engage in more severe forms of conflict such as symbolic aggression, individual violence, and collective violence if they were exposed to tolerance messages. And it was tolerance messages from religious and ethnic leaders—not government officials—that predicted lower levels of symbolic aggression, individual violence, and collective violence. Messages embedded in religious teachings also predicted lower levels of more severe forms of conflict. Filip-Crawford cautioned that these findings are correlational, and one must take care not to draw causal inferences. Nonetheless she noted, the findings are intriguing and worthy of extended investigation. What are the psychological or social mechanisms through which messages of tolerance might reduce conflict? Why do messages of tolerance predict reductions in the severe forms of tolerance but not in the less severe forms? Why do messages of tolerance predict reduced severe conflict when those communications come from leaders within a group or religious teachings, but not when they come from government sources? These are the questions that Filip-Crawford and the other members of the Global Group Relations Project will continue to explore in an effort to understand the ways in which messages of tolerance might be effectively used to reduce intergroup conflict.

Global Group Relations Project Understanding the role of religion in conflict and conflict resolution has become increasingly urgent in the contemporary world. Questions surrounding this topic are numerous and wide-ranging. Does religion necessarily foster conflict, even violence? What conditions (cultural, psychological, social, economic, political) tend to foster or ameliorate religious conflict? Is there any significant difference between religious conflict/violence and other forms of group conflict/violence? Launched with a seed grant from the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, the Global Group Relations Project has received additional research funding from the National Science Foundation and the Institute for Social Science Research to explore these questions.

ASU psychology professor Steve Neuberg leads the project with co-leader Carolyn Warner of the School of Politics and Global Studies.

Members Anna Berlin Global Institute of Sustainability

Roger Millsap Department of Psychology

Benjamin Broome Hugh Downs School of Human Communication

Stephen Mistler Department of Psychology

Eric Hill Albion University

David Schaefer School of Social and Family Dynamics

Gabrielle Filip-Crawford Department of Psychology

Juliane Schober School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Jordan Johnson School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Thomas Taylor School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences

Hui Liu Fulton Schools of Engineering

George Thomas School of Politics and Global Studies

Steven Neuberg Department of Psychology

Carolyn Warner School of Politics and Global Studies

Prasun Mahanti Fulton Schools of Engineering

Michael Winkelman School of Human Evolution and Social Change

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What does the future of the human look like? New project explores religion’s role in shaping technological innovation

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he Center for the Study are translated into distinctive of Religion and Conflict science policies in the United reinforced Arizona State States, the European Union University’s position at the and South Korea. Their aim forefront of scholarship on here is to highlight the link transhumanism with a new between religion, economics, grant that it was awarded this governance and innovation. past year. The grant supports Project co-director Ben a multidimensional twoHurlbut leads these case year research project focused studies, which includes a team on the relationship between of scholars from Harvard transhumanism, religion and University, New York technological innovation. University, the University The John Templeton of California-San Diego, Foundation is supporting Ecole des Mines in Paris, and the project—titled “The Hanyang University in South Transhumanist Imagination: Korea. Innovation, Secularization and In addition to the case Eschatology”—with a $200,000 studies, the project also grant awarded through The includes an interdisciplinary Historical Society’s Program faculty seminar, an in Religion and Innovation in international research Human Affairs. symposium in Germany Transhumanism is a and a series of lectures and movement that promotes workshops at ASU. Principal Investigators Hava TiroshSamuelson with the School of Historical, advanced technology for the Philosophical and Religious Studies and Imagining the (Post) physical, intellectual, emotional Ben Hurlbut with the School of Life Human Future: An and spiritual enhancement of Sciences, lead the project. international research the human species. Though the symposium movement claims to be secular, faculty involved in the project contend that it can be understood as Tirosh-Samuelson and Hurlbut worked closely a unique hybrid of religious and secular ideas. with Christopher Coenen from the Institute for “Many transhumanists speak dismissively Technology Assessment at the Karlsruhe Institute about traditional religions and ridicule persons of Technology to organize an international of faith as ‘weak-minded,’” said history professor symposium on the topic. The symposium, titled Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, one of the project’s “Imagining the (Post) Human Future,” was held co-directors. “However, transhumanism shares July 8-9 in Karlsruhe, Germany. many elements with traditional religions. The According to Tirosh-Samuelson, the decision main difference is that traditional believers look to hold the conference overseas meant tapping to prayer, ritual, meditation and moral discipline into a much wider network of philosophers, for transcendence, whereas the proponents of technologists and policy specialists concerned transhumanism mobilize technology.” with the implications of transhumanism. Key goals of the research project are to 1) “In our first project, we examined the shed new light on the connection between phenomenon of transhumanism in the context of religion and innovation in the modern world, 2) issues in the U.S., but we were aware of a robust explore the transformation of traditional Judeodebate taking place in Europe that this project Christian motifs in the secularist discourse of enabled us to engage more fully,” said Tiroshtranshumanism, and 3) offer a critical vantage Samuelson. point from which to assess the significance and The conference kicked off with a major key cultural impact of transhumanism. note address by Harvard University’s Sheila Through a series of case studies, the researchers Jasanoff, considered a “rock star” by many in will also compare how transhumanist visions Europe for her pioneering work on culture and


Technologies of Imagination Fifty years beyond Man and His Future

Friday April 5, 2013

8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Social Sciences, Rm. 109 Welcome •Ben Hurlbut (ASU) The Ethics of Imagination Moderator: Jenny Brian (ASU)

•Nathan Crowe (ASU) •Nasser Zakariya (NYU) •John Evans (UCSD)

Science and the Public Imagination

Moderator: Edward Finn (ASU)

•Gregg Zachary (ASU) •Marcy Darnovsky (CGS) •Brice Laurent (CSI, Mines ParisTech)

Imagining Sustainable Futures Moderator: Rolf Halden (ASU)

•Kyoko Sato (Stanford) •Gaymon Bennett (Fred Hutchinson) •Clark Miller (ASU) Reflections

Moderator: Ben Hurlbut (ASU)

•David Guston (ASU)

Policy + Law

“The discussions…have been extremely stimulating and I hope that there will be many more chances of continuing these exchanges,” wrote one of the participants shortly after the symposium. The project is already seeing the fruits of its labor. Zygon: The Journal of Religion and Science featured a special section on transhumanism edited by Tirosh-Samuelson in its December 2012 issue. With the international conference complete and the case studies well underway, Hurlbut, Tirosh-Samuelson and Coenen have now turned their attention to editing the papers from the conference for an edited volume. “The Transhumanist Imagination Lecture Series” will continue at ASU in Spring 2014.

SoLS Program on Bioethics,

technology. A series of panel discussions aimed at provoking insight about the relationship between beliefs about the future of humanity— many of which stem from religious ideas—and technological innovation followed. “One of the themes that recurred throughout the workshop discussions was the presence of religious motifs and tropes in transhumanist visions,” Hurlbut said. “A key issue for our follow-up work is not simply to observe the presence of these motifs, but to understand their significance for the forms of moral imagination, public discourse and institutional and political orders that shape visions of and deliberations over desirable sociotechnical futures, visions that are ultimately culturally situated.” Over 50 scholars presented their work at the symposium, including participants from England, France, Germany, Scotland, Denmark, Austria, Israel, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the U.S. The significance of the event was also seen in the large public audiences that attended the keynote lectures and panel discussions.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Biology and Society Program on Bioethics, Policy and Law, School of Life Sciences; Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict; Institute for Humanities Research; and Center for Science and the Imagination For more information visit http://cbs.asu.edu

Learn more at transhumanistimagination.csrc.asu.edu or follow us on twitter 13

Over 50 scholars from across Europe and the US met in Karlsruhe, Germany to debate the role of religion in shaping our imagination of the human future and its implications for science, technology and public policy.


From Idea to Reality: The Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict Marks a Decade of Work

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hen ASU President Michael M. Crow delivered his inaugural address, he laid out a vision for a New American University that would harness the intellectual power

of the university to address pressing global challenges. In that address, he described the design imperatives and institutional entities necessary to bring that vision to fruition. Among those entities was a new, transdisciplinary center that would address the challenge of religiously-charged conflict in the contemporary world. Two months later, in January 2003, Linell Cady was named founding director and the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict opened its doors. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Linell and hear her reflections on the growth of the Center over the last 10 years. Q: What are your thoughts as you turn ten years old? It has been incredible to see the center grow from an idea on paper into where we are today. When I think back to the early days when we had to deal with things like how we were going to get stationary or find space, it amazes me to see the vibrant intellectual community that has developed. It includes faculty and students from across the campus and around the world and members of the community who have been deeply interested in the issues we address. Q: What have been some of most significant projects over the first 10 years? Receiving the multi-million dollar grant for Finding Allies: Mapping Counter-radical Muslim Discourse was an incredibly exciting moment in the development of the center. The project epitomized the ideals of interdisciplinary research on which the center was founded.

Selected Faculty Publications 2003-13 14


Finding Allies was so ambitious in terms of its aspirations in studying counter extremism on three continents. The fact that we got the funding was clearly an affirmation that what we were doing was incredibly important. And this project has turned out to be remarkably productive, not just in terms of providing deeper understanding about extremist and counter-extremist movements in key regions of the world, but also in terms of producing a new way of carrying out research in the humanities and the social sciences. The work on the Comparative Secularisms project, which has led to the publication of two volumes, has also been fascinating because it addresses some fundamental questions about how religion and politics are studied and understood in the modern world. By looking at secularism in a number of different countries the project opened up a whole series of questions about the relationship of religion and the state. What emerges is the realization that these relations aren’t identical within every region or across every tradition. This point is absolutely critical if we are going to understand the ways in which these issues take shape in different geographical and cultural settings.

private option has had a very powerful influence on our ways of thinking about religion, and therefore our ways of thinking about conflict that involves religion. That privatized focus contributes to the idea that religion has not been very influential in shaping attitudes, values, laws or institutions, in American life or elsewhere. By coming at religion through the notion of the secular and beginning to tease out the assumptions that operate about the secular, one uncovers the taken for granted universality of secularism. Its naturalness as a way of structuring human societies and thinking begins to erode. The more or less ready understanding of how the world is divided up naturally into things that are religious and things that are secular starts to break down. By taking this approach, you begin to have a very different notion of what the secular means and the different variations that it assumes, depending upon the particular time or place. The secular in the United States isn’t necessarily the same as the secular in France, and coming to see that begins to show you a lot about the different traditions and historical developments within these countries. It also begins to help you understand why some issues become so conflictual in some countries and some don’t.

Q: Why is it important to study the secular? What does that have to do with religion and conflict?

Q: How did you make the decision to develop the initiative in peace studies?

Religion is often framed in such a way that it is considered to be marginal to the real work of secular discourse and institutions. In American life in particular, I think the sense of religion as a

When we imagined what the center would focus on, we had always, from the very first day, imagined that our work would contribute to solutions that would contain or alleviate the most serious forms of conflict, to making things better.

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“By naming the center religion and conflict, we wanted to explicitly distinguish it from ‘religious conflict’, to avoid the idea of religion as the singular root of conflict. In fact, when you begin to study this topic, you begin to realize how critical political and social and economic factors come in to play, how geopolitical factors and international relations all enter into the mix. We wanted to be able to explore religion as one of the threads within this much more complicated tapestry.”


“I think what we’re seeing as much as anything is the way in which the mid 20th century model in which religion was pretty much thought to be fading—irrelevant to international affairs and global politics—and very much a private phenomenon, is no longer very compelling and actually is now seen to have left out big chunks of what’s going on in our world.”

What we discovered, though, is that sometimes people would hear our name and imagine that we were only interested in the negative side of the story, not the more positive, constructive dimensions. So even though we had always envisioned the study of religion, conflict and peace as interrelated, it was conversations with supporters that led us to focus more directly on studies of peace. Ann Hardt was a critical voice in this regard. She made a very compelling case for the need to foreground certain values so that the study of peace doesn’t get lost. And it was her gift that enabled us to enhance our work by bringing Yasmin Saikia to ASU as the Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies. Q: That’s interesting. I have always been curious about how you decided to name the center… The idea that religion is the problem—and if you could just get rid of it then we would solve conflict—is very popular in the public imagination. By naming the center religion and conflict, we wanted to explicitly distinguish it from ‘religious conflict’, to avoid the idea of religion as the singular root of conflict. In fact, when you begin to study this topic, you begin to realize how critical political and social and economic factors come in to play, how geopolitical factors and international relations all enter into the mix. We wanted to be able to explore religion as one of the threads within this much more complicated tapestry.

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Q: You’ve done a number of conferences where gender has been a critical focus, whether the topic has been secularism or peacebuilding. Why? The importance of focusing on gender arises from the fact that when you’re talking about religion, conflict and global politics, women’s issues seem to be a critical site of controversy and conflict. Gender and sexuality are fault lines around which many of the most hotly contested issues involving religion play out in our world today. What grew out of the conferences we did was a much larger project on women, rights and religion that was funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. It was incredibly dynamic as we engaged visiting scholars and activists from around the world to think about the issues with a multidisciplinary group of ASU faculty. Perhaps surprisingly, we learned that secular human rights discourses and institutions were not always the best way to pursue women’s rights. A key finding from the project is the need for activists to employ all the resources that women have—including religious resources—that speak to equality and justice. Q: The world seemed taken by surprise at the resurgence of religion in the twenty-first century… Very true. I think what we’re seeing as much as anything is the way in which the mid 20th century model in which religion was pretty much thought to be fading—irrelevant to international affairs and global politics—and very much a private phenomenon, is no longer very


compelling and actually is now seen to have left out big chunks of what’s going on in our world. Changes over the last decade or so related to what some call the ‘politicization of religion’ as well as changes to the lenses that scholars bring to the study of the world have helped to illuminate how incredibly powerful religion remains as a source of identity, of values, of discourses and practices that persist in shaping our world in ways that we need to be attentive to. Q: In addition to developing a very strong research agenda and community outreach program, you also have developed some interesting programs for students… We started the fellows program in the early years of the center and it has evolved into a very successful program, offering opportunities for students from any major in the university to come and explore and work with individual faculty affiliated with the center. I know from comments that faculty who have participated in the program have been extremely enthusiastic about the contributions that these students have made to their research projects. Another integral part of the center’s relationship with students is the religion and conflict certificate program, which is a larger effort to reach students who want to engage issues of religion, conflict and peacebuilding in a sustained way. Students can add this certificate to whatever major they may have. It has proven to be a very effective way to impact the curriculum and provide more opportunities for students. We have also been able to sponsor scholarships, fellowships, and grants that would not be possible

without the support from the Friends of the Center. Q: What do you envision for the center in the next 10 years? Our most ambitious goals still lie ahead of us. Expanding the center through deepening and strengthening international partnerships and fostering intellectual exchanges with individuals and institutions globally is critical. Building even more bridges with those working on the ground remains a top priority. In our first ten years we established ourselves as a major site for exploring these ideas from a cross cultural perspective. Over the next 10 years our goals will be building on that foundation through our work, publications, projects and exchanges to become even more integrated into a larger global network. There has been remarkable public support for the center. I think it shows that people are deeply interested in how questions of politics and values come together throughout the world and are eager to gain greater understanding of these issues. We are looking forward to working with our partners—including private foundations and individuals—to expand our impact over the next decade. Interview conducted and edited for length by Richard Ricketts

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“There has been remarkable public support for the center. I think it shows that people are deeply interested in how questions of politics and values come together throughout the world and are eager to gain greater understanding of these issues.”


Making a Difference: Individual philanthropy helps move the center forward Friends of the Center Friends of the Center provide annual gifts to help support the research and educational initiatives of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict. Gifts to the Friends of the Center support student fellowship programs; bring innovative thinkers, writers and practitioners to campus; and help build a network for research and dissemination that includes students, faculty, professionals, practitioners and policy experts. The Center thanks the many friends that contributed to our sustained progress during the 2012-13 academic year.

To make a donation online, go to asufoundation.org/ religionandconflict.

Lifetime Friends Ann Hardt Stan and Tochia Levine Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Doug and Becky Pruitt John Roberts John and Dee Whiteman Platinum (up to $25,000) Margaret and Perry Gooch Tom and Ruth Ann Hornaday Lisa Watkins and Linda Brock Gold (up to $2,500) Anonymous George Cady, Jr. Sally and Rich Lehmann Kevin and Yolanda McAuliffe Richard and Elaine Morrison Maroon (up to $1,000) Susan and William Ahearn Linell Cady Penny Davis Sandy Lambert Donald and Irene Lubin Laura and Herb Roskind Dick and Dinky Snell Thomas and Vicky Taradash Silver (up to $250) Uta M. Behrens Pauline G. Blair

Investing in the Center has a positive impact on students, faculty, and the community.

To make a donation by mail, send a check, payable to the ASU Foundation/ CSRC to: Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict
 Arizona State University PO Box 870802
 Tempe, AZ 85287-0802 Friend of the Center John Roberts talking with associate director John Carlson and speaker Imam Feisel Rauf. Major gifts this past year from supporters like John Roberts, John Whiteman and Doug and Becky Pruitt help to secure the long-term future of the Center and its programs.

Peter Buseck George Cady Calvary Church of the Valley Martha J. Campbell Jane Canby John Carlson Charles Coronella Sue Ellen Davis Robert and Rosemarie Fitzsimmons Carolyn Forbes Mary Anna Friederich Jennifer E. Grossman Robert Hardy Vernon Higginbotham Jane S. Hillerson Rev. and Mrs. Earl Holt

Doris Horn Sol Jaffe Dale M. Kalika Ronald David MacDonald Jerry and Dorothy McAden Michael O’Sullivan Paul Putz Carol Rose Warren and Martha Salinger Gene and Cooky Tarkoff Marjorie Thornton Virginia V. Waroblak Susan Weidner Gwen Williams Jeff and Janelle Wright Robin Wright

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To make a major gift, contact Gwyn Goebel, Major Gifts Officer, at (480) 965-9882 or Gwyn. Goebel@asu.edu. All funds will be deposited with the ASU Foundation for a New American University, a separate non-profit organization that exists to support ASU. Your gift may be considered a charitable contribution. Please consult with your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of charitable contributions.


Theologies of Prosperity in an Age of Economic Inequality

The Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Speaker on Religion and Conflict The Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Speaker Series on Religion and Conflict is an endowed lecture series that honors the life-long commitment of Maxine Besser Marshall (’76) and Jonathan Marshall to education, civil liberties, and world peace.

S

ince the onset of the Great Recession, the ethics of wealth have once again been the subject of heated public debate. American’s views of wealth are influenced by a wide range of religious thought. From the social gospel at one end to the prosperity gospel at the other, these views are diverse and often at odds with each other. Jonathan L. Walton, this year’s Marshall Speaker on Religion and Conflict, addressed these views in an October lecture in West Hall. Walton focused particularly on the prosperity gospel, a form of popular Christianity that was articulated in the first part of the 20th century. According to Walton, the prosperity gospel varies greatly among different denominations and historical moments. Many question whether it is consistent with Christian social teachings. Others argue that it represents a new approach to addressing fundamental challenges of inequality and injustice. “The prosperity gospel has done quite well in America over the past 30 years in the midst of shifting economic, political, and cultural landscapes,” observed Walton. “For some, prosperity connotes community uplift and collective concern,” says Walton, echoing the themes of the social gospel. “For others, prosperity refers to individual accomplishment and the accumulation of material goods on a personal level.” It is this latter strand, according to Walton, that is seen in today’s televangelists. Followers of the prosperity gospel tend to set believers over and above a world in peril. This dichotomy allows believers to justify striving for material goods despite unequal conditions around them. However, Walton noted “this framework also provides the very sort of spiritual buoyancy one

needs to make it through the day, while refusing to surrender tomorrow to despair.” While not resolving the question of whether the prosperity gospel was consistent with traditional Christian teachings on wealth, Many question whether the prosperity Walton did point out some of its gospel is consistent with Christian virtues. social teachings. Others argue that it “When economic times are good,” he noted, “this is represents a new approach to addressing evidence that the core principles fundamental challenges of inequality and of the prosperity gospel work. injustice. And when economic times are bad, the same principles assist people in alleviating the anxieties that come with economic uncertainty and financial fragility.” Jonathan L. Walton is the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard University, Pusey Minister in Harvard’s Memorial Church, and professor of religion and society at Harvard Divinity School. The author of “Watch This! The Ethics and Aesthetics of Black Televangelism”, his research addresses the intersections of religion, politics and media culture.

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The Competing Moral Visions that Shape American Politics

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hy are wealth, healthcare, and foreign policy often seen as moral battles between a virtuous “us” and an evil “them”? What are the dominant types of moral arguments Americans use to debate these issues? Based on his close observations of American political culture, from the Puritans to the present day, James Morone visited the center shortly before the 2012 presidential election to share his framework for understanding the religious ideals that shape American politics. Throughout American history leaders have continually defined the United States with religious rhetoric that invokes the concept of American exceptionalism. Yet this idea, that the United States is a unique country that has a religious mandate to be an example to the world, doesn’t just have an impact on American foreign policy. “If you believe that America is meant to be an exemplar for all nations, then that is a recipe for meddling with your neighbors,” says Morone. “If James Morone is professor and chair of political science at people are not acting properly you’ve got every Brown University. He has long been at the forefront of writing on American government, politics and culture, and his 2003 right to tell them, ‘Hey, you’d better clean up book, “Hellfire Nation: The Politics of Sin in American History,” your act because what will the rest of the world was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. think?’” The Social Gospel tradition dominated much And as a result of this emphasis on our own of the 20th century, according to Morone, but the moral influence, Morone asserts that “the U.S. Puritan individualistic perspective has been on the does not tolerate deviance…we’re constantly rise since the 1980s. dividing a community into us Morone suggests there is and them.” “Moral standing, it’s something else at work in For Morone, these us-versusa remarkable story... the body politic today that them debates are defined by is exacerbating this us-them that came down from the moral stories we tell about dynamic. each other. Morone sees two the Puritans and has “After most great votes, major types of moral arguments persisted through Social Security, Medicare, the in these stories, which he labels Civil Rights Act, the vote and American history, this Puritan and Social Gospel. the president’s signature did it,” “In the Puritan strand, evil idea that moral standing says Morone. “Now, you lose is found in the individual, and defines us and them.” the vote in Congress, you go the Social Gospel strand says to the courts. You lose the vote ‘no, both evil and goodness in courts, you take it to the election. You lose the are in the system itself,’” says Morone. “Every election, what happens next? generation wrestles with these two different “We don’t know, but there’s a sense that we visions of good and bad, although some periods can’t end our debates.” are more dominated by one strand or the other.” Religion and Conflict: Alternative Visions is a series of public lectures that brings to ASU nationally and internationally recognized writers, scholars and policy experts concerned with the dynamics of religion and conflict and strategies for resolution, and is supported by a grant from Dee and John Whiteman.

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The Longest War: America and Al Qaeda

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eter Bergen, a national security analyst for CNN and author of multiple award-winning books, visited the Center in January to deliver his lecture “The Longest War: America, Al Qaeda, and the Middle East.” In 2003, Bergen gave the Center’s first public lecture, “The Rise of Religious Terrorism.” His return to the Center ten years later provided an opportunity for him to reflect on the last decade of religious conflict around the globe. From Al Qaeda’s religious motives to our invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, Bergen drew from his recent book “The Longest War” to analyze various dimensions of the longest war in American history. Bergen detailed how Al Qaeda was focused on creating a war based on religious fundamentalism, “The fact is, the people that are fighting us really believe that they are fighting a religious war. In my view, as a journalist and a historian of this conflict, it’s pretty useful to take people at face value. When they say they’re in a religious war with you, I don’t think that’s a slogan. I think that’s true.” In regard to the future of Al Qaeda, Bergen stated that, “The ability of Al Qaeda to attack us again, in anything like that shape [the 9/11 attacks] or form, is basically zero. That’s for two really big reasons. Our own strengths, and their own weaknesses.” For Bergen, America’s strengths lie in our increased awareness of terrorism, which can be seen in the creation of the TSA and DHS. On the other hand, Al Qaeda’s diminishing presence is founded in four main weaknesses: their brutal violence against Muslim civilians, a lack of political and economic solutions, a vast amount of enemies, and the refusal “to engage in conventional politics.”

Bergen also suggested that Americans take a realistic approach to violent religious organizations, “There are always going to be these groups. Our standard shouldn’t be that we’re going to kill or capture everybody who’s got jihadi violence in mind or in action. That would be impossible.” Bergen continued, “I’m not saying that jihadist terrorism is defunct. It will continue. The question is, is it a manageable, containable problem…or is it a national security problem?” According to Bergen, because of the way the U.S. has responded to the 9/11 attacks, Al Qaeda is no longer a national security problem. “The problem is basically over...if we’re not terrorized by terrorists, it’s not working,” said Bergen.

“The fact is, the people that are fighting us really believe that they are fighting a religious war.”

Peter Bergen is a print and television journalist and author of a number of significant books on terrorism and national security. He is the director of the national security studies program at the New America Foundation in Washington D.C., a fellow at Fordham University’s Center on National Security, and CNN’s national security analyst.

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Peace, Alienation, and the Emerging Global Community

Hardt-Nickachos Lectures in Peace Studies Supported by the Hardt-Nickachos Peace Studies Endowment, this lecture series aims to heighten faculty, student and community awareness of peace studies as an academic field of inquiry and its significance and relevance as an approach to engaging the most challenging problems of our age.

Although Dallmayr began his talk by focusing on global community and Bilgrami began by considering the status of the individual life, their concern with peace in a deeply pluralistic world led both of them to address the issue of deepening structural inequality as the most significant challenge to creating a sustainable peace.

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eace does not just emerge when conflicts are for global community. contained. It is an independent phenomenon “Plato’s imaginary polis remains memorable that can be studied and nurtured. and instructive at all times. Its great value resides This understanding of peace, as a broad in its insistence on the higher purpose of the city, framework for investigation and action, is a key namely the goal of justice as equal well being for theme that runs through the center’s Hardtall people in the city.” Nickachos Lectures in Religion, Conflict and Alongside ecological and material challenges, Peace Studies. The goal of the series is to illustrate Dallmayr sees inequality as a major issue for that peace is a continuous process that must be constructing a cosmopolis. actively pursued, and to “Anyone seriously yearning examine and learn from a for cosmopolis cannot possibly wide variety of approaches to be complacent about the peace. maldistribution of economic This year’s lecture series means,” according to Dallmayr. featured two prominent He sees the “haphazard, scholars, Fred Dallmayr lopsided, largely inequitable and Akeel Bilgrami, who, distribution of wealth and although starting from very economic resources in the different places, shared world” as “a problem equal to similar concerns about the global warming.” role of inequality in creating “While such a steep conflict, and the need discrepancy of wealth clearly is for deeper cross-cultural incompatible with any idea of dialogue to achieve peace. social well being or common Dallmayr, the Packey J. good in the city or in the Dee Professor of Philosophy cosmopolis,” Dallmayr says, “it and Political Science at the is also at odds with a measure of University of Notre Dame, social stability, which requires Fred Dallmayr, the Packey J. Dee Professor of Philosophy and Political Science at used the biblical story the reining in of extreme wealth the University of Notre Dame, delivered of the tower of Babel to and extreme poverty in favor of a a passionate lecture addressing the discuss the emerging global common middle ground.” philosophical foundations for a global community and the challenge of community, or, as he put it, For Dallmayr, any move in the economic inequality in achieving it. the “cosmopolis”. direction of a cosmopolis today The story of Babel ends with God confusing can only occur within the context of a sustained the language of humans and scattering them dialogue about these issues that involves crossacross the Earth. “This means,” according to cultural and interreligious interaction. Dallmayr, “that we cannot proceed today from While Dallmayr’s lecture emphasized the a presumed unity or universality of human role of engaged pluralism in the pursuit of kind. We have to take seriously the diversity, peace, Akeel Bilgami, Johnsonian Professor of multiplicity of languages, customs, cultural Philosophy at Columbia University, focused his traditions, and religions.” talk on the conflict between equality and liberty Using Plato’s discussion of how and why a city from the perspective of non-Western countries, (or polis) is created, Dallmayr laid out his vision what he termed, the “global South”. 22


“Two remarkable, great ideals were articulated in the Enlightenment. The ideal of liberty and the ideal of equality,” says Bilgrami. “When you look at it from the South, you notice something very bizarre, which is…they were theorized in such a way that they were at odds with one another.” The core conflict, according to Bilgrami, arises when an individual embraces the liberty to pursue rewards, but by doing so creates social and economic inequality. “While no one can deny that these are remarkable ideals,” says Bilgrami, “the challenge is to frame them in such a way that they’re not at odds with one another.” In order to solve this conflict, he suggests an alternative outlook that could come from nonWestern nations: “you usher liberty and equality off center stage, as ideals, and once they exit, you put in their place a more fundamental ideal...the ideal of an unalienated life.” What is the ideal of an unalienated life, and what is it seeking to overcome? To address this, Bilgrami pointed to four fundamental transformations that produced our current state of separation: nature became natural resources; people became populations; human beings become citizens; and knowledge to live by became expertise to rule by. “All of these transformations point to a kind of alienation that comes from increasing detachment

regarding our relations to the world,” says Bilgrami. Once a new, more fundamental ideal is established—the ideal of an unalienated life—you can bring the ideals of liberty and equality back as necessary conditions, according to Bilgrami. Since liberty and equality would then be in service of a larger ideal, you could theorize them in a way that they’re no longer at odds with one another. Bilgrami pointed out that Gandhi also believed that equality was a necessary condition to overcome alienation in social relations. In Gandhi’s terms, according to Bilgrami, “in a group, nobody is well off if somebody is badly off.” Societies with inequality will be marked by alienation in social relations, as Bilgrami explained it, so there is only an illusion that those who are well off are living a free and unalienated life. Although Dallmayr began his talk by focusing on global community and Bilgrami began by considering the status of the individual life, their concern with peace in a deeply pluralistic world led both of them to address the issue of deepening structural inequality as the most significant challenge to creating a sustainable peace.

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Akeel Bilgrami, the Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, revisioned the ideals of equality and liberty from the perspective of nonWestern cultures, pointing the way towards a realignment of the relationship between self and other.


Undergraduate Research Fellows, 2012-13

The Center’s Undergraduate Research Fellows—selected from a pool of outstanding applicants—take a special seminar with Center director Linell Cady, work directly with faculty members on research projects related to a broad range of issues, topics and approaches, and meet with visiting scholars and practitioners. Fellows are also awarded scholarships made possible through annual gifts to the Friends of the Center.

Megan Best

Samuel J. Cahill

Alexandra E. Cannell

Cristian Cirjan

Emily Fritcke

Majors: Biological Sciences, Anthropology

Major: Global Studies

Major: Communications

Major: English Literature

Faculty Mentor: Mirna Lattouf, senior lecturer, School of Letters and Sciences

Faculty Mentor: Abdullahi Gallab, associate professor of African and African-American Studies and Religious Studies, School of Social Transformation and School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Faculty Mentor: Mark Woodward, associate professor of religious studies, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Project: “Arab Spring, Religion and Women in the Arab World”

Project: “Finding Allies for the War of Words: Mapping the Diffusion and Influence of Counter-radical Muslim Discourse”

Faculty Mentor: David Siroky, assistant professor of political science, School of Politics and Global Studies Project: “After Secession: The Dynamics of Conflict and the Predicaments of Peace”

Faculty Mentor: Yasmin Saikia, Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies and professor of history, Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict Project: “Pakistani Children Learning Peace and Violence”

Project: “Religion and the Split of Sudan into two Countries”

Brittany E. Morris

Jonathan Reyes

Lauren Sandground

Quinton Scribner

Mauro Whiteman

Major: Communications

Major: English Literature

Major: Justice Studies

Major: Journalism

Faculty Mentor: Mark Woodward, associate professor of religious studies, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Faculty Mentor: Souad Ali, associate professor of Arabic literature and Middle East/ Islamic studies, School of International Letters and Cultures

Faculty Mentor: Eugene Clay, associate professor of religious studies, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Majors: European History, Political Science

Project: “Finding Allies for the War of Words: Mapping the Diffusion and Influence of Counter-radical Muslim Discourse”

Project: “Sufism and Democracy: Deep Roots for Modern Practices in Senegal”

Project: “Race, Religion, and Pacifism in Russia and the American West”

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Faculty Mentor: Brian Gratton, professor of history, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies Project: “From Promotion to Restriction: The Republican Party on Immigration: 1860 to 1900”

Faculty Mentor: Cecilia Menjivar, professor of sociology, School of Social and Family Dynamics Project: “Immigration Reform and the Role of Immigrant Churches”


Undergradate fellow presents at Harvard research conference

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egan Best, an honors student majoring in anthropology and biological sciences, was selected to present her research on Islamic radicalism at the prestigious Harvard College Undergraduate Research Conference in Boston. The research stemmed from her time as a fellow in the Undergraduate Research Fellows Program at ASU’s Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict. The fellows program allows students to work directly with a faculty member on current research projects involving religion and conflict. Best’s project was titled “Islamic Education in the Round: Indonesia, Pakistan, and the United States.” It focused on whether or not receiving an education from an Islamic institution has a relationship with the propagation of Islamic radicalism. Best’s advisers for the project were Mark Woodward, associate professor of religious studies, and Diana Coleman, a graduate research assistant with the center. Brittany Morris, who was also in the undergraduate fellows program, collaborated with her on the project. To begin their study, Best and Morris turned their focus to the United States, Pakistan, and Indonesia as test subjects. The pair researched scholarly journals and media outlets, as well as contacted experts in the field. “What we found is that the media was mostly responsible for propagating ideas that students who receive an education from an Islamic institution go on to commit what one would consider religious terrorism,” said Best. As she conducted the research, Best was surprised by the number of think tanks and organizations within the United States that perpetuate these ideas and the sense of danger that Islamic institutions pose to the safety of the United States after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. She also spends countless hours in labs across the university assisting with a variety of projects, including one that involves studying color patterns in veiled chameleons. Another favorite study of Best’s includes creating casts of extinct mammalian mandibles for the purpose of identifying if there was competition for food.

“I love all the research projects I’m doing,” Best says. “Knowing that the stuff I’ve learned in the classroom is applicable to what I want to do in my career makes it so much easier to learn. I go to class and I remember more because I think about how I can apply the lessons to my research projects.” Story by Natasha Karaczan, ASU Media Relations, with additional reporting by Matt Correa.

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Friends of the Center Student Research Awards

Made possible by annual gifts to the Friends of the Center, this program was established to provide grants to graduate and undergraduate students for innovative research projects and international engagement. The winners were honored at an awards ceremony held at the Center in Spring 2013.

Students talking at the Center’s annual student awards luncheon.

Galen Lamphere-Englund Global Studies and Barrett, the Honors College

Brittany Morris Journalism Major and Barrett, the Honors College

Joon Sik Hwang Doctoral Student in Religious Studies

Project Advisor: Thomas Puleo, assistant professor, School of Politics and Global Studies

Project Advisor: Souad Ali, associate professor, School of International Letters and Cultures

Dissertation Advisor: Anne Feldhaus, Foundation Professor of Religious Studies

Composing Musical Communities: Applied PeaceBuilding Strategies

Women’s Education and Participation in Civic Society in Kuwait

Religion and Conflict at the Crossroads of Pluralism: The Urban Religiousity of Jaipur

Galen Lamphere-Englund, a global studies major, will spend part of his summer in Ireland at the Galway University Summer School in Cinema, Human Rights and Advocacy. Lamphere-Englund’s previous international travels have given him fascinating insights into how music can be used to build communities and achieve social change. He aims to use those experiences and develop additional skills to create inter-religious and inter-ethnic peacebuilding programs that use music and film to build unity. In the future he hopes to apply his research on musical peacebuilding by working with or creating NGOs like Playing for Change, which globally markets street musicians’ songs and reinvests all profits in local education.

Brittany Morris is a journalism and communications major who is also pursuing a minor in Arabic studies and an undergraduate certificate in religion and conflict and in Islamic studies. Morris, who was also an undergraduate research fellow, will use her research award to take part in a project this summer in Kuwait with Souad Ali, an associate professor of Middle East, Arabic and Islamic studies in ASU’s School of International Letters and Cultures. Morris will help conduct ethnographic studies that will analyze women’s role in Muslim societies, with a specific focus on education systems. This follows research Morris did last summer on Muslim women’s attitudes towards the veil controversy in France.

Joon Sik Hwang, a doctoral student in religious studies with a specialization in Hindu traditions, will travel to Jaipur, India to work on an ethnographic study of religious practices in public places. Jaipur is a city where religious diversity coexists with a lively tourism industry, resulting in a wide variety of interactions between members of different religious traditions. His initial research will focus on a Hindu temple at a public intersection of five city streets where a wide range of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, tourists and locals interact. The social and religious activities at this location involve cooperation and conflict. This suggests ways that religious difference can be woven together to form an ethos of pluralism and tolerance.

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Journalism Major Goes Behind the Veil to Learn About Islam

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rittany Morris, a junior in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, has been awarded a research scholarship from the Friends of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict to travel to Kuwait to study the participation of Muslim women in civil society. The Arizona native grew up with the lush landscape of Pinetop at her door before moving to Mesa. As a child, Morris enjoyed immersing herself in writing and reading books. Her mother, a die-hard Sun Devil fan, would frequently share stories about attending Arizona State University. It’s only fitting that when it came time to select a college she enrolled as a freshman at ASU and sought a career in journalism so she could one day report on current events. It was with the help of her cousin, a member of the United States Air Force, that she was able to discover a fascination with the Middle East. While on deployment to Kuwait and Iraq, he would send her local newspapers written in Arabic and Farsi. Morris then became “obsessed” with learning about the lands and cultures where her cousin was. “I started reading literature and nonfiction about the Middle East. I also began following the news surrounding the war and the way the news was covered. I became very passionate about becoming a journalist to debunk the crazy news,” she said. While walking around campus, Morris noticed that many female students wore a veil or burqa to cover their face and head. She then asked her Arabic professor for some background information on the custom. From there her interest in Muslim cultures grew into a point of focus for her student research. Morris began attending events held by the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, where she found a common belief in the need for peace and understanding among different religious groups and cultures. “I love the center. They aren’t afraid to cover hotbed topics throughout the world including aspects of Islam,” she said. The relationship she began building with the center led to a fellowship to focus her research on the effect of veil bans for Muslim women. Morris traveled to France to collect firsthand accounts. She says that many of the women she spoke with who could not wear a veil under the new law

were met with criticism, had been raped or knew women that were killed. They felt that wearing a veil would offer them protection and allow them to showcase their knowledge instead of their looks. Others felt that wearing a veil was a family tradition and a way to own their Muslim identity. With the help of a Friends of the Center research scholarship, Morris was able to travel to Kuwait to examine the role of education in Muslim women’s empowerment. The opportunity brings together her prior research on women’s experiences and the impact of education. The biggest lesson she has learned through her research is that opening one door may solve a problem, but it also brings forth many new questions to ponder. On the other hand, the unexpected outcomes keep her research interesting. Morris is expected to graduate in May of 2014, and is already looking forward to applying the skills she has learned in the classroom. “I’m excited to be able to put my skills and passion into helping women in the Middle East. I really love school but I’m ready to go out and save the world,” she said. To save the world, Morris plans to travel to places such as India, Afghanistan and Kuwait spreading a message of peace. In the future she would like to become a K-12 teacher. “When I volunteered with Teach for America I was able to work with youngsters and I really enjoyed it. I’m also considering joining AmeriCorps,” she said. Story by Natasha Karaczan, ASU Media Relations

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“Losing the structure, politics, and rhetoric of institutionalized religion that so often plays a role in creating division and conflict, what was left were the universal appeals to humanity— relatable to people of all faiths and those who practice no faith at all.”


Undergraduate Certificate in Religion and Conflict

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he undergraduate certificate program allows students from any major to pursue a cross-disciplinary program of study. Established with support from the Ford Foundation, the program includes courses from faculty in ten different fields of study, including such topics as “Religion, Violence and Conflict Resolution,” “Religion, Ethics and International Affairs,” “National Security and International Terrorism,” and “Gandhi and the Politics of Non-violence.” The program began awarding certificates in 2009 and since then has graduated 63 students, including 12 students who earned their certificates in 2012-13: Nesima Aberra (Journalism)

Bryan Eddy (Political Science)


Abel Muniz (Journalism)

Marlain Arbeed (Global Studies)

Jane Ly (International Letters and Cultures)

Chris Palfi (Religious Studies)


Nathalia Biscarra (Justice Studies)


Jose Magana (Anthropology)

Ryan Cross (Religious Studies
)

Masoud Mostajabi (Political Science)

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Evan Tieslink (History and Religious Studies) Christopher Webb (Religious Studies)


About the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict

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eligion wields extraordinary influence in public affairs. Although a rich reservoir of values, principles, and ideals, it is also a powerful source of conflict and violence as diverse traditions—religious and secular—collide. Globalizing trends that are making the world smaller are also unleashing dynamics that are creating some of the most complex and challenging problems of our age. The Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at Arizona State University promotes interdisciplinary research and education on the dynamics of religion and conflict with the aim of advancing knowledge, seeking solutions and informing policy. By serving as a research hub that fosters exchange and collaboration across the university as well as with its broader publics—local, national, and global—the Center fosters innovative and engaged thinking on matters of enormous importance to us all. Committed to a model of scholarship that is transdisciplinary, collaborative and problem-focused, the Center stimulates new research by bringing together faculty and students from across the disciplines, creating links between the academic world and that of professionals, policymakers, practitioners and religious leaders, and fostering cross-cultural exchange through partnerships and collaborations with international scholars, students and institutions.

Center for the Sudy of Religion and Conflict Staff Linell Cady Director John Carlson Associate Director Yasmin Saikia Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies Carolyn Forbes Assistant Director Laurie Perko Administrative Coordinator Maureen Olmsted Project Coordinator Matt Correa Assistant Research Administrator Gwyn Goebel Major Gifts Officer (CLAS) Faculty Advisory Committee Terence Ball Political Science Abdullahi Gallab African & African American Studies Joel Gereboff Religious Studies Moses Moore Religious Studies Steven Neuberg Psychology Sheldon Simon International Relations & Security Studies George Thomas Global Studies Hava Tirosh-Samuelson Jewish Studies (Director) Carolyn Warner Political Science (Head) Mark Woodward Religious Studies Student Interns and Graduate Assistants Diana Coleman Nesima Aberra Christopher Palfi


Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict PO Box 870802 | Tempe, AZ 85287-0802 480.965.7187 | 480.965.9611 (fax) csrc@asu.edu | csrc.asu.edu

Profile for Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict

CSRC Annual Report  

2012-13 Annual Report of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict

CSRC Annual Report  

2012-13 Annual Report of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict

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