Islamic Studies Conference: “Communities Like You: Animals and Islam”


The Throne Verse (Ayat Al-Kursi) of the Qur'an in the form of a calligraphic horse (India, Deccan, Bijapur) - 16th century.

The Fifth Annual Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Conference at Harvard University will be held on Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6, 2013, in the Thompson Room of The Barker Center. This year’s conference is entitled Communities Like You: Animals and Islam. Princess Alia Al Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and founder of the Princess Alia Foundation will be the keynote speaker.

Animals have played significant roles within the theological, artistic, legal, philosophical and literary traditions of Muslim communities.  Artists have incorporated them into stylized calligraphic designs,  miniature paintings, and even into the decorations of  mosques. Here, and also in literature, animals are enmeshed in symbols and associations that reflect both Muslim and indigenous traditions. Indeed, some of the great philosophical, ethical and literary works of Muslim societies centralize animals. By focusing on the role of animals in Islam, this conference will employ a single theme through which to explore the complex matrix of Muslim communities. This exploration will inevitably intersect with other themes, offering rich perspectives to those who attend. Each panel of leading scholars and activists will examine the role of animals within a different framework, and in so doing will elucidate a unique lens through which we can approach a subject that has been marginalized in public understandings of Islam.

This event is free and open to the public, though space is limited. Please register for the conference.

Co-sponsored by the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School.

For more conference details, please see the links below:

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