Dr. Bruce Lawrence
Professor Emeritus, Duke University
I am a defrocked medievalist turned Abrahamic pluralist. Princeton AB (1962), Yale PhD (1972), I have taught at Duke since 1971. My research tackles ideology as the other, darker side of religion, foregrounding the comparative analysis of contemporary religious movements. Having lived in 18 majority-Muslim countries, I speak and/or read Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Turkish and Bahasa Indonesia. I have received numerous awards and grants, including a Carnegie Scholarship on Islam (2008-2010), for my project about Afro-Asian religious minorities as secular citizens.
My major books are Defenders of God (1989), Shattering the Myth (1998), New Faiths/Old Fears (2002), Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden (2005), and On Violence – a Reader, with Aisha Karim, (2008). I also wrote a popular book, The Qur’an – A Biography (2006), and found time to launch the Duke Islamic Studies Center, serving as its Inaugural Director from 2005-2009.