Jay Phillips Center Programs

Islamophobia: An Exploration of the West's Fear of Islam and Why This Matters

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American and European societies, particularly since the events of September 11, 2001, have struggled with the recurrent problem of Islamophobia, which continues to be expressed in waves of controversial legislative proposals, public anger over the construction of Muslim religious edifices, and outbreaks of violence. In his book The Fear of Islam: An Introduction to Islamophobia in the West (Fortress Press, 2015), Todd Green offers a sophisticated but accessible introduction to the historical roots and contemporary forms of anxiety regarding Islam within the Western world. Laura Taylor will interview Dr. Green about the main themes in his book, including the rise of political Islamophobia, the depiction of Muslims in the media, and the importance of fighting anti-Muslim prejudice.

Todd Green is associate professor of religion at Luther College Decorah, Iowa, where he teaches courses on European and American religious history as well as interfaith dialogue. During the 2016-2017 academic year he will serve as a Franklin Fellow with the U. S. State Department, advising the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs on Islam, Islamophobia, and interfaith dialogue in Europe. Dr. Green earned a Masters of Divinity degree at Columbia Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in religious studies at Vanderbuilt University. He is the past co-chair of the Religion in Europe Group of the American Academy of Religion and he currently serves on the editorial board for the journal Religions. The author of The Fear of Islam: An Introduction to Islamophobia in the West and the editor of Islam, Immigration, and Identity, he regularly blogs for The Huffington Post and has been interviewed by a variety of media outlets, including CNN, NPR, Al Jazeera, France 24, and Reuters. His views on Islamophobia have been cited by organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for American Progress, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Laura Taylor is assistant professor of theology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University where, along with regularly teaching the introductory course "Theological Exploration," she teaches upper division courses in feminist and liberation theologies. Dr. Taylor earned a Masters of Theological Studies degree at Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D. in religious studies at Vanderbilt University. Her publications include "Redeeming Christ: Imitation or (Re)Citation?" in the bookFrontiers in Catholic Feminist Theology (edited by Susan Abraham and Elena Procario-Foley) and "La Frontera: Boundaries, Identities, and Difference in Theological Thought," forthcoming in Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion.

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