Monday, April 14, 2008

10-24-2008 :: Crossing Boundaries - Harvard

Harvard:Call for Papers


The 37th Annual Conference of the Association of
Muslim Social Scientists of North America (AMSS)
Crossing Boundaries: Mobilizing Faith, Diversity and Dialogue

Hosted by
The Harvard Divinity School
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
October 24 – 26, 2008
Deadlines: Abstracts: May 15, 2008
Papers: September 30, 2008

While many consider religion to be a major source of violence in the world, many scholars and activists also argue that religions offer the profoundest sources for peacemaking and peacebuilding. This is because religion speaks to the soul, and thus can provide the faithful with powerful motivators to commit to peace. But due to its potential for exclusive claims to truth, mobilising religion for peacemaking purposes must be managed skilfully and wisely.

Interfaith dialogue and the embracing of diversity through the lenses of faith can be a formidable challenge, a feeling of "crossing boundaries." Such sentiments, incongruously, can also apply to intra-faith relations, that is, relations between different sects or orientations within a faith tradition. However, the act of "crossing boundaries," whether they be those of interfaith or those of intra-faith, can be the strategic points of demarcation for the release of energies for good and for evil. Mobilising religion for peacemaking is thus an urgent challenge facing humanity today, at both an inter-faith and intra-faith level.

The 37th Annual Conference of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists of North America aims to explore this topic in relation to Islam, Muslims and a globalised world. What are Islam’s resources for "crossing boundaries" and for cultivating faith, diversity and dialogue? How do Muslims view these concepts? Who are the activists working both for, and against, faith, diversity and dialogue?

To this end, papers are solicited from Muslims and non-Muslims that might speak to the following sub-themes:

• Theoretical Reflections on Inter- and Intra-faith Dialogue
• Studies of Relevant Muslim Intellectual Heritages
• Empirical Studies of Muslim Peacemaking Activists
• Case Studies of Inter- or Intra-faith Conflict or Conflict Resolution
• Hermeneutical Studies of the Qur’an in Relation to Faith, Diversity and Dialogue
• The Media’s Role in Mobilizing Dialogue on Faith and Diversity
• Politics of Religious Identity
• Religion and the Politics of Development and Humanitarian Aid
• The Role of Religion in Promoting World Peace
• The Politics of Cultural Boundaries: Assimilation, Integration & Resistance
• The Impact of War and Conflict on Women’s Role in Society
• Women as Soldiers
• The Role of Women in Peacebuilding Efforts
• Women as Refugees

Abstracts (250 words) are due by May 15, 2008. Abstracts will be evaluated according to the following categories: originality of theme, clear methodology, clarity and relevance of the proposal to the conference theme, and sound academic scholarship. Accepted proposals will be announced within 30 days. Final papers must be submitted by September 30, 2008 to be included in the conference program. If completed papers are not in by the due date, they will not be included in the conference.

Program Co-Chairs:
Dr. Louis J. Cantori (University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA) and
Dr. Katherine Bullock (University of Toronto, Canada)
Send abstracts and papers to Conference Coordinator Ms. Layla Sein at
For more details about AMSS and conference updates, visit

Jasmin Zine, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
Wilfrid Laurier University
75 University Ave. West
Waterloo, ON
N2L 3C5

519-884-0710 x3267

"Come on, deny your Ego. Get united with everybody. So long as you remain in yourself, you are a particle. But if you get united with everybody, you are a mine, an ocean. Believe that all spirits are One! And all bodies are One! Just like almonds in quantity hundred thousands; but there is the same oil in all of them.There are many languages in the world, in meaning all are the same. If you break the cups, water will be unified and will flow together."

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