11 March - Jihad: Between Theory and Practice

On March 11th, Jelle Bruning (LIAS) will host an interdiciplinary expert meeting with three international scholars who will discuss the influence of jihad-related ideologies on the movement of people and the formation of networks. This event is sponsored by a GI seed grant.

Date & Time
11 March 2016
14:15 - 17:15

Gravensteen Building, room 1.11
Pieterskerkhof 6
2311 SR Leiden 

Jihad: Between Theory and Practice

Modern discussions on jihad and the spread and defence of Muslim ideologies tend to focus on current issues, such as Muslim foreign fighters, militant Islam in Europe, and extreme violence endorsed by Muslim groups in the Middle East and North Africa. Yet, such modern issues stand in a long tradition of which elements, such as the foreign fighter phenomenon, date back to the early centuries of Muslim history. As early as the eighth century C.E., Muslims are recorded to have travelled far in order to participate in various forms of jihad ‒ violent and non-violent, directed against Muslim as well as non-Muslim authorities. The places where they gathered (for example, coastal cities in Egypt and Palestine, the Muslim-Christian frontier zones in modern south-eastern Turkey and on the Iberian Peninsula) often formed important hubs in personal and scholarly networks.

This workshop discusses the influence of jihad-related ideologies on the movement of people and the formation of networks. It approaches this subject diachronically and from three different disciplines, each represented by one expert: history, religion, and archaeology. Much attention will be paid to the relationship between ideology and practice and the role of religious authorities. Sub-topics that will be addressed are: the development of jihad-related ideologies and their spread and reception; the relationship between jihad and the pursuit of other matters, such as religious knowledge and financial profit; the form of relevant networks, their members and their maintenance; the practical and infrastructural organization of jihad and the role of religious and political authorities.

Project Coordinator:
Dr. Jelle Bruning (LIAS - Arabic Studies)


14.15-14.30 Opening by Dr J. Bruning

14.30-15.15 Qur’anic Jihad and Its Interpretations
Prof Dr A. Afsaruddin (Indiana University)
Discussant: Dr N.J.G. Kaptein

15.15-16.00 Ribat, Jihad, and Archaeology
Dr Y. Masarwa (Institute for American Universities, Aix-en-Provence)
Discussant: Prof Dr P.M. Sijpesteijn

16.00-16.15 Coffee/Tea

16.15-17.00 E-Jihad 2.0: The Evolution of Jihad in Cyberspace
Dr G.R. Bunt (University of Wales Trinity Saint David)
Discussant: G.M. van Buuren

17.00-17.15 Conclusion

GI Seed Grants

GI seed money is specifically intended to support and stimulate new collaborative or crossdisciplinary research. For more information about these and other GI grants see here. For past and presently funded projects, see here.

Last Modified: 11-03-2016