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Islamic Peace Studies Initiative

Funded by the International Institute Enterprise Fund, the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan initiated the Islamic Peace Studies Initiative that will promote academic research on the subject, as well as the professionalization and recognition of the subfield.

Peace Studies as an academic field has become well-established in academia. Over 150 colleges and universities offer courses in the area of Peace Studies, conceived broadly as everything from political philosophy to security studies to practical conflict resolution. The religious dimension of peace studies has bulked large, with 46% of programs being in church-related schools. While Christian peace studies is a large sub-field, the scholarly literature on peace with regard to Islam is much smaller. 

Our initiative seeks to recognize scholars and activists who have already made key contributions to this field, and to encourage others to address it. We also seek to collect syllabi, bibliographies, directories of relevant academic programs and other useful information at this site. We will hold conferences and promote publication in this area. The Muslim tradition has been an important part of world history since late antiquity and is diverse and broad, straddling the globe. Today Muslims account for about a fifth of humankind. Perhaps because of struggles like the Crusades, Western writing on Islam has disproportionately focused on war and violence. The dimension of peace in this world religion is also deserving of exploration.

Islamic Peace Studies Initiative Second Annual Conference

The Abode of Peace: Spirituality and Harmony in Islam

March 21-23, 2019
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Dearborn

This conference explores the spiritual dimension of peace in Islam. Negative peace has been defined as the absence of violent conflict and concerns security arrangements. Positive peace has been defined as actions, policies, and attitudes that promote peace. Our concern here is with positive peace, and with its inner manifestations, in affect, attitude and personal behavior. Sufism has been a major site of such peace-related themes, but they appear in other arenas of Islamic practice as well. Event page »

Funding for this project comes from the International Institute Enterprise Fund.