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Lecture: Current Turmoil in Islamic World Has Parallels In Western History

Parallels in Western history to the current turmoil in the Islamic world will be explored March 26 as part of the University of Virginia College of Arts & Sciences Endowed Chairs Lecture Series. John M. Owen IV will deliver the lecture in recognition of his appointment as the Ambassador Henry J. Taylor and Mrs. Marion R. Taylor Professor of Politics.

Owen’s talk, “Ideology: What the West’s Own History Teaches Us About Political Islam,” will explain recent turmoil in Muslim societies by looking at the dynamics of various historical ideological clashes in the West, such as the ideological struggle between communism and democracy in the 20th century or the battle between republican and monarchist regimes in the French Revolution period.

Those clashes, Owen explained, have illuminating similarities to the recent clashes in Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Pakistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world between advocates of political Islam and advocates of a more secular democratic form of government.

The lecture will take place at 5 p.m. in Nau Hall Auditorium (Room 101) in U.Va.’s South Lawn.

The lecture series is designed to allow faculty members at the top of their fields to share their work with the greater University and the local community, demonstrating the wealth of intellectual resources made possible by the College’s endowed professorships, said Meredith Jung-En Woo, Buckner W. Clay Dean of Arts & Sciences.

Owen is the author of “Liberal Peace, Liberal War: American Politics and International Security” (1997) and “The Clash of Ideas in World Politics: Transnational Networks, States, and Regime Change 1510-2010” (2010). He is also co-editor of “Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order” (2011). His research has been funded by the MacArthur, Earhart and Donchian foundations. He is the editor of Security Studies, a member of the editorial board of International Security, and a faculty fellow at U.Va.’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.

The lecture series began last fall, with lectures by John Miller, Arthur F. and Marian W. Stocker Professor of Classics and chair of the Classics Department; Butch Brodie, B.F.D. Runk Professor of Botany; and Alan Taylor, Souder Family Professor of Arts & Sciences.

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