Contemporary militant Jihadism has its roots in revolutionary ideology espoused by Pakistani and Egyptian thinkers in the mid-20th century. These charismatic laypeople drew on medieval writings about jihad (an annual campaign to widen and defend the borders of the Caliphate) as well as the work of a handful of later theologians to diagnose the political problems of their age and prescribe a utopian future. This lecture traces the develop of these ideas from the Middle Ages to the modern day, and shows how contemporary revolutionaries have twisted religious teachings to justify a violent political program.

The evening will begin with a lecture on the Intellectual History of Militant Jihadism by Dr. Michael  Skerker. This lecture traces the development of contemporary militant Jihadist ideas and shows how contemporary revolutionaries have drawn on and twisted religious teachings to justify a violent political program.

Dr. Skerker’s talk will be followed by an expert “fishbowl” conversation on the topic with Dr. A. Kadir Yildirim and Abdulbasit Kassim, both of Rice University. Questions from the audience will be received.