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Conferences & Workshops

A Clash of Islams: Sufism and Salafism in the Balkans

Invited Lecture by Dr. Alexander Knysh (University of Michigan)

1 February 2018, 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Vanderbilt University - Center for Second Language Studies Room 003

Dr. Knysh's talk will explore the vicissitudes of Sufism's recent history in the Muslim republics of Russia's Northern Caucasus, and shows how Sufism's status as a "mainstay of the international social order" (per Marshall Hodgson) has come under critical scrutiny as well as verbal and physical attacks from a variety of quarters. Somewhat paradoxically, anti-Sufi discourses have been motivated by its former and recent social, political, and cultural prominence in Muslim societies. The most potent challenge to Sufism's doctrinal and devotional dominance has come from various Salafi ("fundamentalist") movements. Does this "clash of Islams" represent a re-enactment, in Muslim communities worldwide, of the Protestant Reformation?

Co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, the Department of Classical and Mediterranean Studies, the Department of History, the Program in Jewish Studies, the Max Kade Center for European and German Studies, and the Department of German, Russian & East European Studies.

The talk is free and open to the public.


John E. Sawyer Seminar

"Space and Speech: Discursive Environments Across Non-Arab Islam"

7-9 September 2017

Vanderbilt University - Sarratt 220

Sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's John E. Sawyer Seminar (2017-2018) and the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities


Networks and Religious Difference in Asian Buddhist Traditions

3-4 April 2015

Vanderbilt University -  The Vanderbilt Divinity School, Room 129

Sponsored by the Fant Fund, Office of the Dean, the College of Arts and Science; Department of Religious Studies; Department of History of Art; and the Asian Studies Program.

For more information, please visit the workshop homepage.


Transnational and Local Networks of Pilgrimage

19-21 March 2015

Vanderbilt University - 216/220 Sarratt Student Center

Sponsored by The Fant Fund, the College of Arts & Science, and the Department of Religious Studies.

For more information, please visit the workshop homepage.


Muslims Negotiating Modernities:  Divergent Political and Legal Systems, Technology, Gender, Minorities, and Environment

18-20 September 2014

Vanderbilt University - 216/220 Sarratt Student Center

Sponsored by The Fant Fund, the College of Arts & Sciences,
and the Department of Religious Studies.

For more information, please visit the workshop homepage.


Religion and National Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa

11-12 April 2014

Vanderbilt University - 301F Garland Hall

Sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies,
the Department of History, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the Fant Fund.

For more information, please visit the workshop homepage.


Genres of the Imaginaire: How Creativity Mediates Islam through Local Vernaculars

13-15 February 2014

Vanderbilt University - 216/220 Sarratt Student Center

Sponsored by The Fant Fund, the College of Arts & Sciences, 
and the Department of Religious Studies.

For more information, please visit the workshop homepage.


Reconsidering the Non-Muslin Other: Internal and External Religious Differentiation Prior to 1800

26-28 October 2013

Vanderbilt University - 325/327 Sarratt Student Center

Sponsored by The Fant Fund, the College of Arts & Sciences, 
and the Department of Religious Studies.

For more information, please visit the workshop homepage.


Religious Negotiations at the Boundaries

22-23 February 2013

Vanderbilt University - 301F Garland Hall

Sponsored by The Fant Fund, the College of Arts & Sciences,
and the Department of Religious Studies. 

For more information, please visit the workshop homepage.