RFP dissertation fellowships

Reluctant Monopolists: Religious Regulation, Politics, and Identity in Central Asia

By: Dustin Gamza

On August 28, 2015, on the outskirts of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, a 23-year-old student was detained and beaten into a coma by police who were trying to force him to shave his beard, which they saw as a sign of extremism. The student, Umar Bobojonov, later died, and on September 4, retaliatory attacks took place across Dushanbe, including at the police department. Nine police officers and 13 attackers were killed. The interior ministry blamed the incident on a “terrorist group,” but others claimed the attacks were led by individuals who were angered by Bobojonov’s death at the hands of local police and the government’s decision to ban the Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP), which also occurred on August 28. 

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/26/reluctant-monopolists-religious-regulation-politics-and-identity-in-central-asia

Blasphemy in an Egyptian Village: The Case of Kafr Darwish

By: Matthew Anderson

While global media coverage typically concentrates on high-profile blasphemy incidents, such as the controversy surrounding the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005 or the murderous attack on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo this year, sensitivities around blasphemy play a more systemic role in several Muslim-majority countries. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, to name three of the most prominent, have enacted draconian laws criminalizing blasphemy and other speech deemed derogatory toward Islam. 

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/26/blasphemy-in-an-egyptian-village-the-case-of-kafr-darwish

Nuremberg During the Reformation: A Model of Religious Tolerance

By Katya Mouris

During the early years of the Reformation, from 1524-1528, Caritas Pirckheimer, a Poor Clare nun who lived in Nuremburg, kept a sort of diary of letters and conversations known as the Denkwürdigkeiten (“memorable items”). In these, Caritas recorded her struggle to prevent the Lutheran city council from closing her Catholic convent, since the new tide of Protestants believed monasticism was not in keeping with biblical values.

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/26/nuremberg-during-the-reformation-a-model-of-religious-tolerance

Early American Modifications of Locke's Theory of Toleration

By: Kevin Vance

The views of the American founders on religious liberty provide fertile ground for a range of different interpretations of what religious liberty protects and how religious liberty is justified. Although John Locke’s arguments for religious liberty were influential on the American founders, several founders such as John Adams and James Madison departed from or developed Locke’s arguments in a way that emphasizes how a human being’s religious obligations can limit the power of civil government. 

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/26/early-american-modifications-of-lockes-theory-of-toleration