I started writing this blog at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, here in a cosmopolitan city that has been known by many names: Byzantium, Constantinople, Nova Roma, Istanbul. Or “Islambul,” according to the folk etymological preference of the current president to highlight the Islamic character of the city. I am sipping Turkish coffee at a café overlooking the Bosphorus, after a hurried visit to Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom). This wonder of Byzantine architecture was built in 537 CE and was once the largest cathedral in all of Christendom.
The second caliph of Islam, ‘Umar b. al-Khattab (r. 634-644 CE), is reported to have said that even if a dog were to die on the banks of the Euphrates River, he would be held accountable. Other reports say he spoke of a camel or sheep, or perhaps the Nile instead of the Euphrates. These details don’t change the meaning. As the leader of the fledgling Muslim community, it was ‘Umar’s responsibility to provide for the sustenance and care for all beings, even the very least of them, to the farthest stretches of his authority.…
The ship of capitalism set sail centuries ago. Its goods have reached the four corners of the world. The sands of the desert have become the silicon for microchips. Technology has changed the world, most certainly for the better, but pandemics remind us of our precarity. Are we going too fast? Can we build more resilience into our global system? Can its fruits be better shared among all? On the shores of Oman, at the crossroads of Africa and Asia, we were reminded of these questions, as we experienced a different rhythm of life, where, for a few days, strangers became like family, and we saw the possibility of a different world.
Over the course of the next few weeks and months, the Ansari Institute will engage in online conversations on questions relating to the human condition and to global affairs. Our conversations will include local and global partners, students and educators, and journalists and educators, as we explore how religion can serve as a force for good in the world.
Mahan Mirza, executive director of the Ansari Institute within the Keough School of Global Affairs, hosted five students at his family's off-campus inn after returning from their spring break course in Oman.
When Julia French traveled to Oman as part of a Keough School class on global religion and politics, she quickly dove into challenging conversations. The University of Notre Dame sophomore from Raleigh, NC, heard from Bangladeshi students who worried that Rohingya refugees were taking too many resources from their country, one of the world’s poorest. It was a perspective French hadn’t encountered in reading media coverage of the larger humanitarian crisis.…
In accordance with new University procedures, meant to safeguard the health and well-being of members of our community, the Ansari Institute is making alternative arrangements to continue our central work of education and research.
Meeting and talking to believers from other faith traditions enables people to move beyond stereotypes and build lasting trust and understanding, author and scholar Kelly James Clark argued during a recent campus visit.
Faculty members associated with the Madrasa Discourses Project at the Kroc Institute discuss the program's unique efforts to engage madrasa scholars in conversations about religion, society and epistemology.
Asmaa El Messnaoui, program manager for the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion, offered the opening invocation during the University's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day luncheon on Monday, January 26, drawing on Islamic teaching to underscore the importance of practicing diversity and inclusion and treating others with dignity and respect.…
Members of different faith traditions can learn from each other through civil discourse that respects real differences, prominent Catholic and Muslim leaders said during a Nov. 20 interfaith dialogue at the University of Notre Dame. The conversation, which featured Cardinal Blase J. Cupich…
Accomplished journalists, scholars, and thought leaders gathered at the Keough School of Global Affairs’ Washington Office recently to discuss the complexities of religion at a time when a cascade of social media platforms shapes how people understand and discuss faith and practice.
Notre Dame will host an interfaith conversation between Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, and Daoud Casewit, president of American Islamic College, at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 (Wednesday) in the Nanovic Hall Forum.
The latest issue of "Peace Policy" by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies focuses on understanding the policy implications of the Madrasa Discourses project…
In “Days of Awe: Reimagining Jewishness in Solidarity with Palestinians," Atalia Omer traces the development of American Jewish solidarity with Palestinians and the diverse social movements that have shaped this advocacy.
With extensive academic and administrative experience, Mirza most recently served as lead faculty for the Notre Dame Madrasa Discourses project.
Today, as we mark World Refugee Day, the Keough School of Global Affairs stands in solidarity with the 70.8 million persons forcibly displaced around the world.
Maydan, an online publication of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University, published this piece about the Notre Dame South Asia Conference in Washington, DC, in May 2019.
Rahul Oka The Notre Dame South Asia Group, a multidisciplinary working group of the Liu Institute, brought together scholars and practitioners at its first conference on May 14 and 15 at the Washington, DC, office of the Keough School of Global Affairs. The theme was “Religion, Public Policy, and Development.”…
In new research, Kathleen Sprows Cummings chronicles how canonization, or the intricate process of naming someone a saint, prompted a minority religious group to define, defend and celebrate its American identity.