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Release date:
Nov. 27, 2001
Contact: Deb Hammacher, Associate Director, 404-727-0644, or

Halle Visiting Professor at Emory and Expert on Religious Violence to Give Public Talk Dec. 6

WHO: Mark Juergensmeyer, author and Distinguished Halle Visiting Professor at Emory University
WHAT: Public lecture: "Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence"
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6
WHERE: Tull Auditorium, 3rd floor, Gambrell Hall (Emory Law School) 1301 Clifton Rd., Emory.
COST: Free and open to the public. For information, call 404-727-7504.

The first question that came to many minds after the terrorist attacks Sept. 11 was, "Why would anyone do such a thing, especially in the name of religion?" Mark Juergensmeyer focused on this question for his new book on religious terrorism, "Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence" (University of California Press, 2000). In the book, he attempts to enter into the mindset of Osama bin Laden and others who perform acts of terrorism for religious reasons.

Juergensmeyer, professor of sociology and director of global and international studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara, has interviewed perpetrators and supporters of terrorist acts, including the previous bombing of the World Trade Center, Hamas suicide bombings, the assassination of Israel’s Yitzak Rabin, the attack on Tokyo’s subways, Sikh and Hindu violence in India, car bombs in Ireland, abortion clinic bombings in the United States, and the destruction of the Oklahoma City federal building. In his Emory lecture, Juergensmeyer will discuss how religion has become fused with worldly struggles, how it sometimes leads to destruction and terror, but also to restoration and hope.

Juergensmeyer, a sociologist and expert on religions of India and Central Asia, has been a frequent commentator on CNN and other news outlets since Sept. 11. He will lead an interdisciplinary faculty seminar at Emory during the spring 2002 semester on "Globalization and Religion" that will engage scholars from religious studies, psychology, nursing and political science.

In addition to his recent book, Juergensmeyer is the author of the forthcoming "Gandhi’s Way" (California, 2002), and "The New Cold War? Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State" (California, 1993), and editor of "Violence and the Sacred in the Modern World" (London: Frank Cass, 1992). He is the 2001-02 Distinguished Halle Visiting Professor at Emory, hosted by The Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning at Emory.


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