Thursday, November 3, 2011

Scholar to address 'The State of Islam' in lecture at Randolph College

This year has brought significant change to the Arab world, with protests, uprisings, and revolutions, and one Civil War in the Middle East and North Africa.

What do these events mean? How will they impact the relationship between Islam and politics; between the Middle East and the rest of the world?

Ziauddin Sardar, one of the world’s most renowned scholars of Islam, will address those topics at Randolph College next week.

He will deliver the lecture “The State of Islam” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, in Wimberly Recital Hall.

“In today’s world, someone who is discussing the state of Islam is talking about something important,” said William A. Coulter, Randolph College’s Eichelbaum Professor of English and the chairman of the committee that invited Sardar.

Coulter said that a Randolph College student met Sardar two years ago while participating in The World in Britain, the College’s study abroad program in Reading, England. The student then suggested that Sardar come to speak here.

Sardar, of London, is known as a pioneering thinker on contemporary Islam, writing about a wealth of topics relating to Islam and the modern world, including cultural relations, science policy, literary criticism, and more. He teaches in The City University and regularly contributes to the New Statesman and The Guardian. He has written more than 45 books, including two international bestsellers.

His speech at Randolph College is part of the Philip Thayer Memorial Lecture series, which is funded by an endowment in the honor of a retired history professor.