Linderman Library, Room 200
India and Turkey are both constitutionally secular democracies with complex histories in terms of interreligious relations. Both countries are also home to myriad shrines that are visited by multiple religious communities. For the pilgrims to these shrines, learning how to be adherents of these religious traditions is also about learning how to live in a religiously plural nation. This talk will explore the traditions of pilgrimage that draw together Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and others at shared sacred sites.
Anna Bigelow is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at NC State University where she won the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2009. She received her MA from Columbia University (1995) and PhD in Religious Studies from UC Santa Barbara (2004) with a focus on South Asian Islam. Her book, Sharing the Sacred: Practicing Pluralism in Muslim North India (Oxford University Press, 2010) is a study of a Muslim majority community in Indian Punjab and the shared sacred and civic spaces in that community. Bigelow's current research, funded by the Scholars Program of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, involves further study of contested and cooperatively patronized multi-religious sacred sites in South Asia and the Middle East, focusing on the inter-religious dynamics that complicate or ameliorate these relations in plural communities around the globe. She speaks and writes frequently on religious extremism, religion and conflict, and the role of Islam in the world today.