Curriculum vitae bruce Bennett Lawrence December 2006 Personal

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Bruce Bennett Lawrence
December 2006

Born: August 14, 1941 in Newton, N.J.
Telephone: (919) 660-3506

1958-62 Princeton University, A.B. (magna cum laude)

1964-67 Episcopal Divinity School, M. Div.

1967-72 Yale University, Ph.D. (History of Religions:

Islam & Hinduism)

Major Research Interests:

Comparative Study of Religious Movements; Institutional Islam, especially in Asia; Indo-Persian Sufism; the Religious Masks of Violence; Contemporary Islam as Abrahamic Faith and Religious Ideology

Professional Positions:
1971-73 Assistant Professor, Department of Religion, Duke University

  1. Tenured in April (after declining tenure offer from Columbia


1973-79 Associate Professor

1976-78 Chair, Program in Comparative Studies on Southern Asia

1979- Professor

1982-83 Acting Director, Graduate Program in Religion

1987-88 Acting Chair, Department of Religion

1990-91 Acting Chair, Department of Religion

1992-97 Director, Comparative Area Studies Program

1993-97 Co-Director (with John Richards, History), Rockefeller Foundation

Program, "South Asian Islam & the Greater Muslim World"

1996-02 Chair, Department of Religion

1998-01 Director, Wiegand Distinguished Speakers Program on

“Pivotal Ideas of Global Civilizations”

  1. Inaugural Nancy and Jeffrey Marcus Humanities Professor of Religion

  1. Inaugural Director, Duke Islamic Studies Center

2006- Interim Director, Carolina South Asian Center
Fellowships, Awards & Guest Lectureships:
1967-71 Kent Fellowship

1974-76 American Institute of Indian Studies Research Fellowship at Aligarh Muslim University (Aligarh, U.P., India): Institutional Sufism 1981-82 National Endowment for the Humanities Translation Fund: Sufi Literature from pre-Mughal India

1982 Aziz Ahmad Memorial Lecture "Islam in India/Islam in the World - Does the Paradigm Fit?" University of Toronto

1983 Paine Lecture in Religion "Islam in the Modern World: A View from

the Asian Periphery," University of Missouri-Columbia

1986-87 American Institute of Indian Studies Research Fellowship (declined): Mughal Sufism - Continuities and Discontinuities

1989 Dartmouth Institute of the Humanities; Senior Faculty Fellowship (Spring term) "Fundamentalisms Compared"

1990-91 Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship Topic:

"Violence and Post-Colonial Islam"

1991-93 Pew Charitable Trusts Grant Topic:"Forum on Global Islam"

1993 Lindesmith Lecture in Asian Studies, "Between Arabia and Asia: The

Future of Pakistani Women," Carleton College

1993 Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Grant (with Bruce Kapferer,

University College, London) Topic: "Theorizing Violence: Old

Plots, New Problems"

1993-94 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar to 10 College/University sites

1994 Getlin Lecture in Religious Studies, "Where are the Islamic Fundamentalists in Bosnia?" Trinity College, Hartford

1994 Chautauqua Institution: Principal Organizer and Initial Public

Lecturer for Thematic Program "In the Name of God: Religious

Fanaticism at Home and Abroad"

1995 16th annual University Lecture in Religion at Arizona State

University. Topic: "20th Century Global Religion(s): Parachristian

Sightings from an Interdisciplinary Asianist"

1995 Plenary speaker at special topics session of International

Association for History of Religions in Mexico City. Topic:

“The Comparative Study of Global Fundamentalism”

1995 Fulbright research scholar/lecturer in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia under

special program in Islamic Studies.

1995 Goteburg Book Fair Conference on Religion and Freedom of Speech.

Invited lecture:“The Paradox of the New Religious Right in America”

Respondent: Salman Rushdie.

1996 Plenary Speaker at the First Iranian International Conference on the

Teaching of Persian Language and Culture. Topic: “The Benefits and

Limits of Persian Culture in the Formation of Islamic Civilization”

1996 Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard: Lecture

on "Global Religion(s): Hope or Hoax of the 20th Century?"

1996 Goodspeed Lecture at Denison University: "Go, God, Go: the Use

and Abuse of Religion in the 20th Century"

1996 Harriett Eliot Lecture in the Social Sciences at UNC-G: “Global

Fundamentalism(s) Revisited”

1997 International Conference on Asia and North African Studies

(ICANAS) in Budapest. Plenary paper on “The Dilemma and

Persistence of Institutional Sufism”

1998 Conference at Tunis 1 on Post-Colonial Identities. Major paper on

“Civil Society in Tunisia and Turkey”

1998 Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Seminar on Islam and

World Systems. Public presentation on “A View of Kingship and

World Systems from pre-modern South Asia and South-east Asia”

1998 Visiting Professor, The University of Chicago Divinity School,

Fall Quarter, Course: “New Faiths/Old Fears”

1999 American Lectures on the History of Religions. Bi-annual Lectures(5)

on a topic of choice to 7 major universities in North America. Topic

of choice: New Faiths, Old Fears: Muslims And Other Asian

Immigrants in American Religious Life (published as a book

from Columbia University Press in 2002; see below)

1999 Invited Co-instructor of master class on “Good Government

and Just Order: Traditional Elements in Contemporary Islamic

Political Discourse” at Leiden University, the Netherlands

1999 Heyns Distinguished Lecturer at Stanford University

1999 Emile Bustani Annual Lecturer at MIT

1999 Major Speaker on “Multiculturalism in Classical Islamic

Civilization” at Foreign Policy Research Institute (Philadelphia)

later printed as an essay in FPRI Newsletter No.9/1999

1999 Visitor to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the auspices of United

States Information Agency (USIA); 3 major talks (2 in Arabic)

2000 UNESCO Chair of Philosophy Lecturer at University of Tunis in

Tunis in late March: “Civil Society in the USA and Tunisia”

  1. International Association for the History of Religions Conference

in Durban, South Africa in August; delivered two major papers,

one on “Religion in Cyberspace”, the other on “Religious Tolerance

and Islam”

  1. Guest on Odyssey Channel program for the Real Bottom Line,

filmed in NYC, then aired nationwide. Topic: “Is God in


2001 Two week conference on Muslim Personal Law in Dakar, Senegal

2001 Gave over 110 interviews, talks, and classes since 11 September 20

2002 Holstein Family Lecture at University of California - Riverside

2002 Further two week conference on Muslim Personal Law in Capetown,

South Africa

2002 Major Colloquium on 11 September Retrospect at Williams College

“The Longer View of the Axis of Evil”

 2002 Lead off Keynoter in Year Long Program at Hillsdale College on

“How to Think about Islam”

2002 Santagata Family Fall 2002 Lectureship at Bowdoin College: “Islam

Past Glories, Present Challenges, Future Hopes”

 2002 Wayne State University, Inaugural Lecture for Religious Studies

Dpt.: “Religious Toleration & Civic Tolerance - The Case of Islam”

2002 Iowa State University, Lead off Speaker in Year Long Program on

“Religion and Conflict: The Role of Fundamentalism(s)”

Ongoing Consultation and Editorial Services:
1977- Consulting Editor for Indo-Persian topics, Encyclopedia Iranica

(Ehsan Yarshater, Columbia University, General Editor)

1986- Application reviewer for National Endowment of the Humanities

Projects in several categories

1990- Outside evaluator for the annual fellowship competition at the

Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars & the National Humanities

Center, Research Triangle Park

1991-98 Editorial Board, HF Guggenheim Review

1994-99 Editorial Board, Journal of the American Academy of Religion

2002- Co-editor, with Carl Ernst of UNC-CH, of a new monograph series

from UNC-CH Press “Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks”

2002- International Advisory Board for the Oxford Centre of Islamic Studies

A. Principal Foreign Languages Used: Arabic, Persian, Urdu & French

Shahrastani on the Indian Religions, (Foreword by Franz Rosenthal), The Hague: Mouton & Co., 1976. (Religion and Society Series, vol. IV: Jacques Waardenburg, General Editor). 297 pp.
Notes from a Distant Flute: The Extant Literature of pre-Mughal Indian Sufism, London & Tehran: The Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1978. 123 pp.
The Rose and the Rock: Mystical and Rational Elements in the Intellectual History of South Asian Islam. Edited papers from May 1975 Quail Roost Symposium. Durham, NC: South Asian Monograph Series, Duke University, #15, 1979. 200 pp.
Ibn Khaldun and Islamic Ideology. Edited papers from the 1983 conference held at Duke University. International Studies in Sociology and Social Anthropology, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1984. 137 pp.
Defenders of God: The Fundamentalist Revolt Against the Modern Age, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989. London: I.B. Tauris, 1990. Paperback reprint from Columbus: University of South Carolina Press, 1995. 306 pp.
*Winner of the prize for excellence in religious studies [1990, historical] awarded by the American Academy of Religion. See Religious Studies Review 19/4, October 1993:287-297.
Morals for the Heart (Conversations with Shaykh Nizam ad-din Awliya, d. 1325 AD), by Amir Hasan Sijzi. Translation with Translator's Introduction, Annotation and Bibliography. General Introduction by K.A.Nizami. Classics of Western Spirituality Series. NY: Paulist Press, 1992. 312 pp.
Shattering the Myth: Islam Beyond Violence, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998. 237 pp. Paperback edition: 2000. Special Millennium Edition from Oxford University Press, Karachi: 2000. Arabic translation to appear in Spring 2003 from Obeikan Publishers of Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Thrice nominated for the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Religions Online. Indianapolis: Macmillan USA, 1999. 418 pp. The first popular book on cyber-spirituality. Written at publisher’s invitation in response to a web page done for an undergraduate course: “God Online”.

Beyond Turk and Hindu: Rethinking Religious Identities in Islamicate

South Asia, co-edited with David Gilmartin. Gainesville: University Press of

Florida, 2000. 354 pp. Essays from the Rockefeller Institute on South

Asian Islam and the Greater Muslim World, convened at Duke in April 1995.

Sufi Martyrs to Love: The Chishti Brotherhood in South Asia & Beyond,

co-authored with Carl Ernst. New York: Palgrave Press, 2002. 241 pages.*

nominated for 2003 Coomaraswamy Prize as most original book on South

Asian culture.

New Faiths, Old Fears: Muslims & Other Asian Immigrants in American

Religious Life. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. 197 pages.

Finalist for AAR Book Prize in Analytical Category for 2003.

Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama Bin Laden. The first

comprehensive collection of interviews, pronouncements, and legal

directives made by the Saudi fugitive/terrorist/global jihadist, with a fresh

translation into English (done by James Howarth), headnotes and an

introduction. London & New York: Verso, November 2005
The Qur’an Over Time. One of a series of cross over books published

by GroveAtlantic in two separate editions, American and British, under the


2006, American edition, February 2007

The Chain of Violence: An Anthology. A critical appraisal of current, mostly European theorists of violence, with special attention to the crises in global politics that remain unresolved in the post-Cold War era. 420 pages in length, co-authored with Aisha Karim (Xavier College, Chicago) and due to be published by Duke University Press in Fall 2007.

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