University of Oregon

UO Insight Seminar Examines Militant Islam

The seminar will introduce the historical and theological foundations of militant Islam.

Saturdays, April 5, 12, 19, 26; 9:30 a.m.-noon

Anita Weiss, professor of International Studies at the UO, will offer a UO Insight Seminar entitled "Militant Islam" beginning Saturday, April 5, in Knight Library's Browsing Room, 1501 Kincaid Street, on the UO campus. The seminar sessions, which run from 9:30 a.m. until noon, will continue for three more consecutive Saturdays: April 12, 19, and 26. The registration fee for the noncredit, ungraded seminar is $99. Additional information and online registration is at

Islamist discourse has come to set a growing number of political agendas, but the nature of this discourse—including the diversity within it—is rarely understood in the United States.  In particular, the concept of jihad (striving) and its relation to militancy is frequently both misunderstood and misrepresented. This seminar will introduce the historical and theological foundations of militant Islam, identify the larger goals of some of the militant Islamist groups today, and clarify the distinctions between various groups. The book used in the seminar will be The Terrorist in Search of Humanity: Militant Islam and Global Politics by Faisal Devji, and is available at the UO Duck Store.

UO Insight Seminars provide an opportunity for the general public to re-engage with the liberal arts and experience the intellectual fulfillment that is the hallmark of a university education. The seminars focus on the humanities, particularly on “meaning of life” topics of keen interest to adults. They are aimed at people eager to return to real college-level reading and study. The seminars are noncredit and ungraded. Led by UO faculty members who are experts on the topics, the seminars require careful reading of both primary and secondary materials.

Additional seminars will be offered during May. For a complete list of topics, visit

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