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 talk, David Nirenberg will examine 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 Family Collegium for Culture and Society. Nirenberg's research has focused on the ways in which Jewish, Christian, and Islamic cultures interrelate with and think about each other and how they construct themselves through those interrelations. Nirenberg has written extensively on the interrelations of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. His 1996 Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages received numerous honors, including the 1996 Premio del Rey Prize from the American Historical Association, the 1998 Herbert Baxter Adams Prize of the American Historical Association, and the 2000 John Nicholas Brown Prize of the Medieval Academy of America. His most recent book, Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition, was published by W. W. Norton in February 2013.