Is religion a source of political stability and social continuity, or an agent of radical change? This question, so central to contemporary conversations about religion and extremism, has generated varied responses over the last century. Taking Jewish and Islamic education as its objects of inquiry, Mandatory Separation sheds light on the contours of this debate in Palestine during the formative period of British rule, detailing how colonial, Zionist, and Palestinian-Muslim leaders developed competing views of the form and function of religious education in an age of mass politics. Drawing from archival records, school syllabi, textbooks, newspapers, and personal narratives, Suzanne Schneider argues that the British Mandatory government supported religious education as a supposed antidote to nationalist passions at the precise moment when the administrative, pedagogic, and curricular transformation of religious schooling rendered it a vital tool for Zionist and Palestinian leaders. This study of their policies and practices illuminates the tensions, similarities, and differences among these diverse educational and political philosophies, revealing the lasting significance of these debates for thinking about religion and political identity in the modern Middle East. Join IIJS for an insightful conversation with Suzanne Schneider.
Supported by the generosity of the Kaye Family.
Suzanne Schneider received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the Department of Middle East, South Asian and African Studies at Columbia University. An interdisciplinary scholar working in the fields of history, religious studies, and political theory, Suzanne’s research interests relate to Jewish and Islamic modernism, religious movements in the modern Middle East, the history of modern Palestine/Israel, secularism, and political identity. She is the author of Mandatory Separation: Religion, Education, and Mass Politics in Palestine (Stanford University Press) and a regular contributor to The Revealer: A Review of Religion and Media. She is currently working on a book about religious violence in the modern age. In her capacity as BISR’s Deputy Director, Suzanne oversees program execution, development initiatives, and institutional partnerships.
Additional Information: Seating will be available on a first-come first-served basis. Doors open at 6:45 pm.
For additional questions, please contact IIJS@columbia.edu.