Jihads by followers of Islam and the creation of nations following Shariah law. Christian fundamentalists emphasizing
the Judeo-Christian foundation of the U.S., with some going so far as to advocate domestic terrorism. Followers of
Judaism lobbying for an orthodox Jewish state.
Has the conflict among local religious identities and secular governments around the world reached the stage of a
global rebellion? Mark Juergensmeyer, one of the creators of the academic discipline of global studies, will analyze
the clash of social and political beliefs and attempts to reconcile them in a nonviolent way during a lecture Thursday
at Fort Lewis College.
I will be talking about my book, Global Rebellion, which deals with all movements of religious activism around the
world in recent years," he said. It also deals with the strains on secular politics that help to create these
movements of protest, causing many people to lose faith in secular nationalism and reject the religious-secular
distinction that once was the hallmark of the modern West."
Juergensmeyer earned graduate degrees in religion and international studies at Columbia University in New York City and
a doctorate in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. He is the director of the Orfalea
Center for Global and International Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. His cousin Erik
Juergensmeyer is a professor of composition and rhetoric at FLC and helped arrange the talk.
A noted author and scholar, Mark Juergensmeyer said he would be talking about my interviews with activists around the
world, from Christian activists in the U.S. to Muslim militants in Iraq - including the founder of Hamas and the chief
al-Qaida organizer of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Towers."
Getting those interviews was difficult, sometimes taking days or weeks to locate the activists, persuade them to agree
to talk and set up the interviews.
Sometimes just finding their location could be a nightmare," he said, like the time my taxi got lost in Gaza on my
way to interviewing Hamas leaders, and I had to go to the Islamic University to find the movement's supporters who
could help me find the address."
Many of us think of religious rebellion as being the jihad of the Islam tradition.
Religious rebellion against the secular state is found in every religious tradition - not just Islam," the professor
said. The people involved in these attacks are not evil or crazy - the ones with whom I talked believed passionately
that they were soldiers defending their culture and honor and helping to bring about a more just political order."