SPEAKER & AUTHOR: BRUCE B. LAWRENCE
BRUCE B. LAWRENCE is the Nancy and Jeffery Marcus Family Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Religion at Duke University and Adjunct Professor of the Alliance of Civilizations Institute at Ibn Haldun University in Istanbul. His research focuses on contemporary Islam as a religious ideology, south Asian Sufism, and Islamicate cosmopolitanism.
About The Seminar and Its Aims:
This seminar invites faculty and research students of Islamic studies, history, and social science to participate in a lecture and discussion with Bruce B. Lawrence on the topic of his 2021 manifesto, Islamicate Cosmopolitan Spirit. Master’s and undergraduate students may also participate as observers. The seminar aims to extend the study of Islamic history and literature within the broader context of world history through the establishment of engaging dialogues and hopes likewise to establish a robust academic network in the field.
The seminar will encompass the following points:
* A thorough introduction to the concept of Islamicate Cosmopolitan Spirit across time and space
* An exploration of premodern Afro-Eurasian and Persianate culture in the Indian Ocean
* Introduction to the concept of barzakh logic as a new methodology for the study of Islamic history in the broader context of world history.
* The notion of adab within the Islamicate Cosmopolitan Spirit
* Cosmopolitan dialogue in the time of civilizational crisis and the future of the Islamicate Cosmopolitan Spirit
About the Book:
The Islamicate Cosmopolitan Spirit expresses both belonging- to an empire or nation or an asabiyya- and longing- for the betterment of humankind. Without that belonging, there could not be the longing to make the world the larger—indeed, the largest—place of belonging. Thus, it also acknowledges the Indic sensibility Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The Whole World is One Family). In its combination of spirituality and culture, Bruce B. Lawrence’s Islamicate Cosmopolitan Spirit proposes a new theory about global history: Islamicate cosmopolitanism. Its history is distinguished by pre-modern scientific exemplars who pursued truth, beauty, and justice. In today’s world, both women and men, artists and scientists represent such exemplars. The Islamicate Cosmopolitans have had a distinctive impact across the Afro-Eurasian ecumene, at the center of civilized contact between competing yet convergent interests. Ultimately, the Islamicate Cosmopolitan Spirit defies East and West dichotomies, incorporates components of humanity’s collective past, and pursues “adab”- a moral existence that is both aesthetic and agonistic, individual and collective. The book introduces a concept of barzakh logic as a new methodology for the study of Islamic history in the broader context of world history.