The theme of the 2014 summer university was selected by the academic committee of the Aladdin Project. As religion is becoming an increasingly influential transnational political force, beyond the narrow confines of its relations to the state, and is creating tensions and conflicts on a global scale, among States and among religions themselves, it was an important topic to cover in the context of the second IUIL. Looking at the subject from different angles, the program provided participants with in-depth academic understanding on the topic but also gave them the opportunity to tackle this complex issue with peers from other religious, cultural and social backgrounds, allowing them to learn from each other, develop friendship and when possible, find ways to dialogue and cooperate. Indeed, religion as a transnational force is also at the core of conflict resolution and peace building and such course seeks to investigate and promote that very idea in the midst of wars and religious tensions.
What students said:
- “I feel stronger about my ability to conduct discussions in an intercultural environment. I also learnt to manage situations of conflicts”Tal
- “I have learned that when people who are willing and open-minded to listen to another person, regardless of where they come from, their history, their beliefs, religions, etc., peace, dialogue, and development can happen”Eliyaim
- “I gained a lot of information about different cultures and different countries and I managed to overcome my preconceptions”Narod
- “I learnt to meet others, work in groups and accept opinions that were different than mine. I learnt that dialogue is the basis for coexistence and peace”Amina
- “I learnt that taking part in such a program with people from different nationalities made me more sociable, open minded and it became easier for me to get into touch with people and exchange cultural experiences. I learnt new habits, values and principles that will be guiding me through my academic career”Mohamed
- “I learned to approach people from different backgrounds more openly and I am now more interested to learn about their cultures”Christian
- “I learnt that although others may have varying beliefs than mine, there is always room for dialogue and understanding”Female student
Origin of the students (Class of 2014)
- Arnd Bauerkämper
- Whitney A. Bauman
- Uli Bruckner
- Yilmaz Esmer
- Nilufer Göle
- Mohamed Hawary
- Catherine Iffly
- Baber Johansen
- Riva Kastoryano
- David S. Katz
- Nilüfer Narli
- Tudor Parfitt
- Ingo Peters
- Charles Tenenbaum
- Ufuk Topkara
Uli Brückner is a member of the expert services of the Federal Agency for Civic Education and of TEAM Europe. He also works for the International Training for Diplomats Programme at the German Federal Foreign Office. In Berlin his current and former affiliations include New York University in Berlin, the German Program and the Metropolitan Program of IES, the European school of governance (eusg), EAWSR, FU Berlin International Summer university (FUBiS), Pontificia University Madrid, East European Studies Online and IR online Gulf Region at the Freie University Berlin. He also worked for Duke, American University and LEXIA.
Uli Brückner is member of the board of directors of the institute for cultural diplomacy (icd) Berlin / New York. In 2011 he served in India as a consultant for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to set up a European Studies Program in Pune. His current fields of interests are institutional developments in the EU, the political economy of European integration, the sovereign debt crisis, cultural policy, external affairs and enlargement of the EU, including Turkey.
She is currently directing a research project on the Islamic visibilities and the transformation of the European public sphere. The project, funded by ERC, is an outcome of investigation engaged in the graduate seminars given at EHESS since 2001 on the modes of public appearance of Islamic piety. Focusing on the notion of public sphere, her work emphasizes the importance of the cultural realm and the mediation between the personal and the political. The categories of intimate, corporal, sexual, spatial, as well as the esthetic forms are privileged to study the manifestations and configurations of Islamic visibility. She is currently conducting a European scale research project entitled “Islam in the Making of a European Public Sphere”, EUROPUBLICISLAM, awarded by the ERC Advanced Grant and funded by the European Research Council.
Prof. Hawary has authored a number of books in Arabic. He is also the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Oriental Studies, published by Society of Oriental Languages Graduates in Egyptian Universities (SOLGEU) in Cairo, Egypt. He served as Chairman of the Dept. of Oriental Languages, Faculty of Arts, Assiut University, Egypt. He has also served as Director of the Center for Study of the Contemporary Civilizations (CSCC), Ain Shams University.
He is also a faculty associate of Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and a member of its Executive Committee. His research and teaching focus on the relationship between religion and law in the classical and the modern Muslim world. His book Muhammad Husain Haikal Europa und der Orient im Weltbild eines ägyptischen Liberalen (1967), translated into Arabic in Abu Dhabi in 2010, examines twentieth-century liberal interpretations of Islam; Islam und Staat (1982) looks at modern Muslim debates on state models; and Islamic Law on Land Tax and Rent (1988) considers long-term changes in classical and postclassical legal doctrine. Contingency in a Sacred Law: Legal and Ethical Norms in the Muslim Fiqh (1999) focuses on law, social practice, and ethics in Islam. Johansen was twice elected a member of the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and has been a visiting professor at the Watson Institute (Providence), Harvard University, and Ca’ Foscari (Venice). He is actually on sabbatical leave as a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg at Berlin (September 15-December 15, 2013), (April 1-July 15, 2014). He is one of the three executive editors of Islamic Law and Society, and has served as area editor for Islamic Law in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Legal History (2009) and as adviser for the Encyclopedia of Law and Society (Sage, 2009).
Narlı is a Full professor of Political Sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Bahçesehir University. Currently, she is teaching in the Sociology Department she founded in 2005. She was Vice Rector of the university till September 2006. Before being appointed as Vice-rector on September 1, 2005, she was the founding Dean to the Faculty of Communication at Kadir Has University (October 2003-August 2005). Before that, she had been the founder and department head of Sociology Department at Marmara University, where she also chaired the Sociology and Anthropology Department of the Middle East Studies Institute. She also taught at Istanbul University Women Studies Institute (1995-1999). She was visiting scholar at Maryland University (in the summer of 2007).
Narli’s topics of research and teaching interest include: civil-military relations and military and good governance in Turkey, Islamist movements in Southeast Asia and Middle East, political participation of Muslim women, irregular migration in the Balkans, and political memory. Narli has experiences in distant learning with CUNY and Shangai TV University of China (2004).
Shortly afterwards he became lecturer in Hebrew at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He was successively, senior lecturer, reader and professor (Professor of Modern Jewish Studies) at SOAS where he founded the Centre of Jewish Studies and was its director from 1993 to 2006 and from 2010-11. He was also Chair of the Middle East Centre at SOAS. In 2012 he was Distinguished Visiting Scholar, (Global Engagement Program) at the University of Pennsylvania, Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow (Spring Term) at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute Harvard University (where he gave the Huggins Lectures in 2011) and Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research, Cape Town, South Africa.
Over his career his chief academic interests have included the Sephardi/Mizrahi communities of the Muslim world, Jewish-Muslim relations, Hebrew and Hebrew Literature, Judaising Movements, Jewish genetic discourses and issues around race in modern times and Jews in Asia and Africa. He has authored or edited 26 books and presented 7 documentaries for the BBC, PBS, Channel Four and the History Channel. His latest books are Black Zion ed. with Edith Bruder (Cambridge Scholars’ Press 2012) and Black Jews in Africa and the Americas (Harvard University Press, March 2013).
Fulbright Visiting Fellow at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (2005, George Mason Univ.) and at the International Peace Institute in New York, Dr. Tenenbaum teaches Peace Studies, International Mediation and Conflict Resolution at the graduate and post-graduate level along with courses on Gender and International Relations and International & Regional Organizations. Consultant for UNWomen (2011) and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre, 2013), trainer at the National School of Administration (2008), he was a trainer and facilitator for the Wilson Center facilitative initiative in the Democratic Republic of Congo (2009, IRENE). He is a member of the Network on Peace Operations (ROP).
Since 2012, Charles Tenenbaum manages the French Political Science Association research group on Multilateralism. In 2013 he published “Negotiations and Mediations in the resolution of Conflicts” in: Placidi-Frot, Delphine, Petiteville, Franck, Négociations internationales, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po.
He was also active in the committee “Antisemitismus in mehrheitlich muslimisch sozialisierten Milieus” at the Amadeo-Antonio Stiftung. Between 1997 and 2003 he was speaker for Islam in cooperation with the Evangelische Akademie Berlin, giving presentations on Islamic theology. In 2012 and 2013 he was Visiting Scholar at the UCLA Law School and conducted Archival research for his dissertation project on “The convergence of reason and faith in Islam.” He is currently a PhD Candidate in the Post Graduate Program in Islamic Theology, University of Paderborn, Mercator Foundation, 2011-2014. Dissertation topic: “The Convergence of reason and faith in Islam. The challenge of Albert Camus.”
- Inaugural lecture by Prof. Nilufer Göle
- Religion and the myth of secularization (Prof. Katz)
- Religion as a factor in the Arab-Israel/Muslim-Jewish conflict (Prof. Parfitt)
- What is truth? Religion and violence in European history (Prof. Katz)
- Religion and Civil Society (Dr. Iffly)
- The right to dissent in Islamic Law (Prof. Johansen)
- Religion, Politics and Secularism (Prof. Esmer)
- International Organizations: Opportunities & Limits (Prof. Peters)
- Faith and Radicalization (Prof. Kastoryano)
- Interfaith dialogue and conflict prevention (Dr. Tenenbaum)
- Justice and Peace in Judaism and Islam (Prof. Hawary)
- Religion and environmental violence (Dr. Bauman)
- The Concept of ``European Occident`` as an Intellectual Bridge (Prof. Bauerkämper)
Religion and peace will be discussed from the vantage point of Europe. Underlining themes will be: Europe is a historical product of different cocentric civilisations or as a judeo-christian one?.What is the place of religion in a Secular Age? Are Post-Secular societies of Europe more religious tolerant? The new configurations between the religious and the secular at the phenomenological level require new conceptualizations. Islamic visibility in public spheres of Europe challenges the established secular norms of equality and freedom and provokes a series of societal debates. The jewish question becomes a cursor for debating Europe and Islam, faith and identity issues, politics of memory, and the possibilities for intercultural peace.
The status of Muslims under non-Muslim rule as well as the status of Non-Muslims under Muslim rule has been controversially discussed between and within the law schools. The recognition of historical change in the norms of the law has led, from the twelfth century on, to a systematic epistemology of dissent within the law and its effects on the religious and scholarly status of the law. This epistemology has exerted its influence on legal thought in the following centuries. In the 20th century it is still an object of legal debates and -in the jurisprudence of modern constitutional courts – an instrument for the reinterpretation of Muslim law and its reintegration into modern state law
Leaving aside the violent outbursts and focusing on the democratic countries, we observe that religion is still one of the most important forces in politics – particularly electoral politics – that one has to reckon with. Even in the most “modern” contemporary states, different religious and denominational groups can exhibit different voting patterns and levels of religiosity are certainly one of the major determinants of electoral choice.
Secularizing the state apparatus is generally accepted as the most effective panacea against faith-based conflict and violence. But the human race is certainly a long way from reaching a permanent and satisfactory solution to this deeply-rooted problem.
These and other questions are addressed by this lecture. Starting with some general ideas about the purpose, form and functions of IOs, it will give a closer look into the European landscape and its security institutions. At last it scrutinizes one special international organization in Europe: the European Union – more than an IO, but still short of a full-fledged state – and its role and meaning in the policy field of conflict prevention and conflict management.
Through the intervention of eminent religious leaders, faith-based international organizations and peace churches have developed a very specific discourse on peace and conflict resolution. This lecture will invite you to get a closer look at the historical foundations of the special status of religious actors in peace making allowing us to better understand the role and influence of interfaith dialogue initiative in contemporary conflict prevention initiatives. At a time of when the religious factor appears to be at the core of most violent political conflicts (Syria, Central African Republic) we will try to see how religions also play a unique role in the ending of wars.
The lecture will elaborate on two key concepts of religion and religious traditions, Justice and Peace. Justice is a concept that is usually related to, and connected with, the concept of equality in the eyes of law; it means that the law should treat equally people who adhere to its rules and norms, regardless of their social, political or economic status. The protection of the rights of all human beings, irrespective of race, color, creed, nationality, or language, is central to any conception of justice.
The lecture will investigate how true peace is the fruit of justice, a moral virtue and legal guarantee which ensures full respect for rights and responsibilities, and the just distribution of benefits and burdens. No peace is attainable without justice, and no justice is possible without forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a feeling; but rather a decision, a decision not to let past injuries block the way to present efforts to find truth, justice, love and freedom, that are the deep and solid foundation of a true and definitive peace.
Berlin 2014: Academic program
Berlin 2014: Learning from each other