Seminar & Book Review of A Mirror for our Times

Tue, 25 Jan 2011 18:00 in Discussion Forums
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Where: Room 313,Rose Bowl, Civic Quarter,Leeds Metropolitan University,LS1 3HB, Leeds

Abstract

26th September 2008 marked the twentieth anniversary of the beginning of The Satanic Verses controversy – a controversy that in many ways became paradigmatic for the following two decades. Taking as its starting-point the opening two years of the controversy, Paul Weller's book uses the events and arguments of those years as a lens through which to view what later developed, both in relation to the controversy itself, but also its wider entails, and the incidents and issues through which aspects of the original controversy were reprised.

The anniversary of the controversy presents a good opportunity to review the incidents, issues and debates of the time in some historical perspective, while also connecting them with subsequent incidents that have reprised some of the key themes, such as the ‘cartoons’ controversy, the terror attacks of 9/11 and 7/7, and the killing of the Dutch filmmaker, Theo Van Gogh.

The book holds up a mirror for our times that will be of interest to academics, politicians, students, and religious believers, as well as to all who are engaged with the twenty-first century challenges posed by living with radical difference, freedom of expression, and mutual respect, with exploring the relationship between religion and secularity, and with overcoming the threats posed by religiously informed violence.

Biography

Professor of Inter-Religious Relations at the University of Derby and Head of Research and Commercial Development in its Faculty of Education, Health and Sciences; Visiting Fellow in the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture at Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford; and Vice Chair of the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Derby.

Current interests: issues in the relationships between religion, state and society. Recent publications: Time for Change: Reconfiguring Religion, State and Society (London: T. & T. Clark, 2005) and ‘Fethullah Gülen, Religions, Globalisation and Dialogue’, in R. Hunt and Y. Aslandogan (eds.), Muslim Citizens of the Globalized World: Contributions of the Gülen Movement (Somerset, NJ: The Light Inc. and IID Press, 2006). He is editor of Religions in the UK: Directory, 2007-2010 (Derby: University of Derby and Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Derby, 2007).

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