A synoptic and sympathetically critical analysis of the range of political theorizing that emerged during what may be called Islam’s classic epoch, stretching from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries — above all as regards rival strategies for grappling with what is arguably humanity’s most profound and lasting dilemma: how to arbitrate the competing legal and civic claims of normative human reasoning, on the one hand, and legislative divine revelation, on the other. The talk will limn crucial features of this terrain by way of drawing comparisons and contrasts, not only among rival forms of theorizing within Islam, but also between Islamic political thinking and the Christian and classical, Greco-Roman traditions of political theorizing.
Before joining the University of Texas in 2004, Thomas Pangle held the University Professorship in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He is a lifetime fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 1987 he delivered at the University of Chicago the Exxon Distinguished Lectures in Humane Approaches to the Social Sciences. In 2004 he was a featured speaker at the first Cultural Summit of the European Union, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In January 2007 he delivered the Werner Heisenberg Memorial Lecture, in Munich at the invitation of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. He has won Guggenheim, Killam-Canada Council, Carl Friedrich von Siemens, and four National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships. He has been awarded the Benton Bowl (for contribution to education in politics) by Yale University, the Robert Foster Cherry Great Teacher of the World Prize, by Baylor University, and the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, University of Texas.
This talk is sponsored by the Harry M. Clor Chair in Political Science, the Philosophy Department, the Political Science Department, and the Center for the Study of American Democracy.
Wednesday, March 20 at 7:00pm
Community Foundation Theater in the Gund Gallery
101 1/2 College Drive, Gambier, Ohio 43022
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