The Constitution’s ban on religious tests prompted the nation’s first debate in 1788 about whether a Muslim – or a Catholic or a Jew – might one day become president of the United States. William Lancaster, a delegate to the North Carolina convention to ratify the Constitution, worried: “But let us remember that we form a government for millions not yet in existence.
An ardent feminist and leftist scholar, Mahmood assumed a certain degree of internalized subordination in women who find solace and meaning in deeply patriarchal traditions. Yet, over the course of two years listening to and learning from several religious revival groups run by da’iyat (female “callers”), she discovered an entirely different understanding of religious devotion.
While many in the US thought the world would end on November 6 when the guy they didn’t vote for won the Presidency, another whole section of the population is convinced that the apocalypse will come on December 21, 2012; the fast approaching winter solstice, in accordance with predictions made by ancient Mayans. A Reuter’s poll of 16,262 people in 20 countries conducted in May this year showed that “nearly fifteen per cent of people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime and ten per cent think the Mayan calendar could signify it will happen in 2012.”
As I was searching for illustrations for my forthcoming book, The Devil Within: Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West, I came across a reproduction of a detail of the painting shown here.
“‘Perl’s of Wisdom’: ‘Rabbi’ Sam Perl, New Models of Acculturation, and the ‘In- Between’ Jew” examines archival materials from the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The Brownsville Herald and El Heraldo de Brownsville to demonstrate how Sam Perl — an Eastern European Jewish immigrant who changed the face of Brownsville, Texas — redefines historical approaches to Jewish acculturation.
It is well-known that decades later he made witty statements about God: that He does not play dice; that God is crafty but not malicious. Einstein famously wrote: “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
On a research trip last summer, I found a previously unidentified thirteenth-century manuscript in a library in Poznan, Poland, and recognized that it contains the writings of a late twelfth-century monk named Engelhard of Langheim. One of the Latin texts in this manuscript is the saintly biography of a religious woman named Mechtilde of Diessen.
On December 8, 2011, newspapers in Zimbabwe – and Zimbabwe’s diasporas – reported that an unmarked tree in the middle of a busy street in the capital, Harare, had been accidentally knocked down by a city council van.
During the partition, however, as Amin’s story reveals, Aligarh became a site of suspicion; Muslims were targeted as potential traitors to the state, and Aligarh was especially vulnerable because many students had been active in calling for independent Muslim statehood.
It was some time before I could convince him to sit down with me for a formal interview about his experiences during the 1930s and 1940s in Aligarh. He was very skeptical of the methodology of my research, being as he is, a historian of medieval India and deeply invested in the investigation of documentary sources. Interviews, he reminded me, would only catch a person’s “bias,” and not “The Truth.”