St. John's College Presents

The Quest for the Islamic State - Past and Present

A Lecture by Hillel Fradkin




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For more information, call 984-6000.

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Event Description

Over the past two years, the Arab Middle East has been subject to a series of revolts popularly known as the Arab Spring.  Where successful these revolts overthrew existing autocratic regimes and initiated democratic electoral processes.  To date the main beneficiaries of these elections have been what are known as Islamist movements and parties connected with both the Muslim Brotherhood and so-called Salafists.  In addition the Islamist movement has had an important impact in other non-Arab Muslim countries – for example Iran and Turkey. 

Traditionally these movements aimed at a reform of Muslim politics which had as its ultimate goal what they termed the “Islamic State.”  This lecture will discuss the present meaning of the Islamic State, its origins, its prospects and its relationship to the experience of Muslim history and thought.

Dr. Hillel Fradkin is a senior fellow of the Hudson Institute, a public policy research institute, and director of its Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World.  He is co-founder (with Amb. Husain Haqqani) and co-editor of Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, the leading journal on the subject of the Muslim movement known as Islamism.

Fradkin received his degree in Islamic Studies from the Univ. of Chicago.  His studies were directed by the late Muslim philospher Muhsin Mahdi  and the late Muslim theologian Fazlur Rahman. He earned a BA in Government from Cornell University.

Fradkin was a member of the faculty of Barnard College/Columbia University and the Univ. of Chicago. He has also taught at Yale and Georgetown universities.

Fradkin has published widely on contemporary Muslim and Middle Eastern affairs as well as the history of Islamic thought. He has also written on the history of Jewish thought and the general issue of the relationship between religion and politics.

He served in the US Army 1969-1972.