What does 9/11 mean today? Panel to discuss decade's impact on religion, public life

Linell Cady

No one living in the United States will ever forget where they were or what they were doing on Sept. 11, 2001.

Now, a decade has passed – 10 years and 2 wars of remembering, analyzing, worrying and grieving since 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners and flew them into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

What does this decade mean? What have we learned? What new challenges do we as a nation, and world, face?

Arizona State University’s Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict (CSRC) will sponsor a free panel discussion from 3 to 4:15, Sept. 8, titled “The Difference a Decade Makes: Religion, Politics and Public Life – Tenth Anniversary of 9/11.” The event will take place in West Hall room 135 on ASU’s Tempe campus.

The panel will focus on such questions as:

• What impact did 9/11 have on public understandings of religion, politics and violence, nationally and globally? What have "we" – the country, the media, the academy, and the wider public—learned, or failed to learn, since then?

• What challenges and/or opportunities remain for engaging religion in public settings?

• At the dawn of a new decade, do recent events such as the Arab Spring and the death of Osama bin Laden, signal significant shifts in the dynamics of religion and politics in public life, and how we understand them?

The panel of ASU faculty members will include moderator Linell Cady, director of the center; Yasmin Saikia, a professor of history and the Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies; Carolyn Warner, professor and head of political science; Abdullahi Gallab, a sociologist and former journalist who teaches courses in Islamic studies as an assistant professor of African and African-American studies and religious studies; and Sheldon Simon, a professor of political science and expert in international relations and security studies.

The program will provide an opportunity for reflection and discussion on an event whose imprint has dramatically shaped the first decade of the 21st century. Each of the panelists will be asked to respond briefly to a series of questions, with the audience then invited to raise questions and enter into the conversation.

The Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict is a research unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences on the Tempe campus.

The event is part of the Conversations at the Center series, a colloquia series that provides opportunities for more intensive discussion of the challenges of religion and conflict in the contemporary world.

For more information, and to RSVP for the discussion, go to http://csrc.asu.edu/programs/conversations-center/, or call (480) 965-7187.