What is it about religion that seems to spur acts of violence?
This panel examines the the role of faith in violence and asks what can be done to confront the ever-rising tide of religious terrorism.
This panel is part of Reza Aslan's "Gods & Prophets." This series takes us on a journey through humanity’s encounter with the divine. Each lecture features a robust conversation with some of the most fascinating and dynamic thinkers and writers on religion today.
Dr. Reza Aslan, the founder of AslanMedia.com, is a Wallerstein professor at Drew University’s Center on Religion, Culture and Conflict.
Mark Juergensmeyer is director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, professor of sociology and affiliate professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is an expert on religious violence, conflict resolution and South Asian religion and politics, and has published more than two hundred articles and twenty books, including the recently-released Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State (University of California Press 2008). His widely-read Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence (University of California Press, revised edition 2003), is based on interviews with religious activists around the world—including individuals convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, leaders of Hamas and abortion clinic bombers in the United States—and was listed by the Washington Post and the LosAngeles Times as one of the best nonfiction books of the year. A previous book, The New Cold War? Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State (University of California Press, 1993) covers the rise of religious activism and its confrontation with secular modernity. It was named by The New York Times as one of the notable books of the year. His book on Gandhian conflict resolution has been reprinted as Gandhi's Way (University of California Press, Updated Edition, 2005), and was selected as Community Book of the Year at the University of California, Davis. He has edited the Oxford Handbook of Global Religion (Oxford University Press 2006) and Religion in Global Civil Society (Oxford University Press 2005), and is co-editing The Encyclopedia of Global Religions (Sage Publications 2008) and The Encyclopedia of Global Studies (Sage Publications 2009). His 2006 Stafford Little Lectures at Princeton University, God and War, will be published by Princeton University Press.
Jessica Stern is an Advanced Academic Candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Psychoanalysis and one of the foremost experts on terrorism. She serves on the Hoover Institution Task Force on National Security and Law. In 2009, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for her work on trauma and violence. Jessica is a member of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations. She was named a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, National Fellow at the Hoover Institution, fellow of the World Economic Forum and a Harvard MacArthur Fellow. In 2009, she was also a Fellow at the Yaddo Colony for the Arts and the MacDowell Colony. Jessica was an Erikson Scholar at the Erik Erikson Institute, as well. She has a BS from Barnard College in chemistry, an MA from MIT in chemical engineering/technology policy and a PhD from Harvard University in public policy.