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Seminar - Political Violence: Is a Secular vs. Religious Distinction Useful?

In a seminar on 28 May, two of our fellows, political scientist Mohammad Mojahedi and religion scholar Arie Molendijk, will discuss whether the concept of religious political violence has any value.


About the Seminar

What do the words “religious” and “secular” mean when used to distinguish between religious political violence and secular political violence? Do the words “religious” and “secular” signify two distinct categories of political violence with different ontological, normative and/or moral characteristics? Furthermore, does a religious vs. secular categorisation of political violence have any descriptive, justificatory and/or explanatory power?

In this workshop, Mohammad Mojahedi and Arie Molendijk invite participants to explore these concepts and questions. Mohammad Mojahedi will first give a 25-minute talk on his work-in-progress at NIAS and will present arguments and counter-arguments from political theory and theories of action. He will flesh out some intellectual historical examples from Modern Iran by exploring the religious roots of so-called “secular political violence” and the secular roots of so-called “religious political violence.” Arie Molendijk will then make some comments and open the floor for further discussion. Participants are invited to offer critical remarks and recommendations on the topic.


About NIAS Seminars

NIAS Seminars are organised by the Rector of the Institute. They are meant to appeal to interested parties from a wide range of backgrounds and are aimed to encourage closer contact within the Dutch academic world.

NIAS Seminars take place in the Lecture Room (NIAS, Meijboomlaan 1, Wassenaar, telephone 070-512 27 00). This Seminar starts at 11.00 hours and ends at 12.30. Everyone is welcome to attend the seminar and join the discussion. However, since changes in the programme may occur, please let us know if you wish to attend. For further information, contact Communication.