cropped-sufiimage-1024x333The inextricable link between religion and culture will be explored in a multidisciplinary conference on “Islam and Religious Identity: The Limits of Definition” on Oct. 14-16 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Recognizing that there is no single definition of Islam, the conference will examine the diversity of cultures around the world that shape religious practice and experience.

The conference, convened by professor of Islamic studies Carl Ernst, will bring together scholars working in the disciplines of religious studies, history, literature and anthropology. The event is one of two conferences to be held in academic year 2016-2017 in collaboration with the Carolina Performing Arts festival “Sacred/Secular: A Sufi Journey,” which explores Sufism as a spiritual and cultural lens into Islam.

“This conference will be a superb opportunity to encounter the diversity of Muslim cultures in expert presentations,” said Ernst, William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies, and co-director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations.

The conference is free and open to the public. Sessions of general interest include a keynote presentation by Professor Ahmet Karamustafa on historical perspectives on Muslim identity, and a concert of ‘ud music featuring Palestinian-American musician and composer Issa Boulos.

Islam and Religious Identity: The Limits of Definition” is organized by the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies.

For a list of featured speakers and a program schedule, visit the conference website.

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