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Martha Nussbaum To Examine Democracy and Religious Violence Dec. 3

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University of Chicago Professor Martha Nussbaum will deliver the 2007 Sherrill Lecture on Monday, December 3, at Yale Law School. Professor Nussbaum’s talk is titled “The Real Clash of Civilizations:  Democracy, Religious Violence, and the Case of India.”  It will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Room 127 and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Alumni Reading Room.

“If we really want to understand the impact of religious nationalism on democratic values, India currently provides a deeply troubling example,” said Nussbaum. “In my lecture, I will use a specific case study from India to argue that the 'clash of civilizations' made famous by Samuel Huntington is not the clash between 'Islam' and 'the West,' but instead, a clash within virtually all modern nations—between people who are prepared to live with others who are different, on terms of equal respect, and those who seek the protection of homogeneity, and the domination of a single ‘pure’ religious and ethnic tradition.”  

Professor Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, Department of Philosophy, Law School, and Divinity School, at the University of Chicago. She has taught at Harvard, Brown, and Oxford Universities. From 1986 to 1993, she was a research advisor at the World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki, a part of the United Nations University. She has chaired the Committee on International Cooperation and the Committee on the Status of Women of the American Philosophical Association, and currently chairs its new Committee for Public Philosophy

Nussbaum is author of numerous books, including Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership (2006), and The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India’s Future (2007). Her new book, Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America’s Tradition of Religious Equality, will be published in February 2008.

She holds a B.A. from NYU and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard.

The Sherrill Lecture features distinguished visitors with special expertise in international law and international relations.