Harper Lecture with David Nirenberg: Can History Help Us Think About Religious Conflicts?

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Interreligious conflict—and, with it, many questions about the role of scripture in that conflict—is once again at center stage in our geopolitical consciousness. Do the respective claims of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic holy texts contribute to the violence between the various communities that read them? Or do they provide a basis for solidarity between the three Abrahamic religions? In this Harper Lecture, David Nirenberg examined how the Qur'an, Torah, and New Testament have been read at different moments in history—including our own—in order to consider the politics of conflict and community among the "peoples of the Book." Nirenberg is the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought and founding director of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago.

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