Contemporary Issues in Islam

6 p.m. Thursday, March 16 with Dr. Seth Ward of the Dept. of Religious Studies at the University of Wyoming.  Contemporary Issues in Islam will explore how Islam interacts with modernity.

Dr. Ward has been teaching Islamic and Jewish studies at the University of Wyoming since January 2003. His academic fields include Muslim-Jewish relations, cultural studies, women’s issues, crypto-Judaism, and Middle East. Dr. Ward received his PhD in Near Eastern languages and literature from Yale University. He is lead author in a new textbook, History of the Modern Middle East, scheduled to appear in 2017.

Contemporary Issues in Islam is presented by the Wyoming Humanities as part of its ThinkWY Road Scholars Tours program. Wyoming Humanities provides public humanities-based programs in partnership with local organizations and is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional support from private donors and the Wyoming Legislature.

The presentation will extend beyond the news to highlight selected contemporary trends and movements among the world’s Muslim people. A brief and condensed introduction to the history and religion of Islam will be followed by a discussion of a few contemporary Islamic topics reflecting current issues.

Topics have been identified and examined by University of Wyoming students during a semester long course taught by the presenter.

“Given the contemporary discourse about issues related to Islam, it is important to discuss matters such as conservative or fundamentalist religious movements, human right issues, politicized religion and misgovernment, religion and science,” Ward said “with an approach that avoids seeing Islam simply as a set of issues and problems.”