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Professor Examines the Ideal of Peace and Its Use as a Political Tool

Published November 30, 2016 in News

By: Katie McNally | University Communications

In his second year at the University of Virginia, Murad Idris is challenging his students to critically examine the established norms of political thought. In particular, the assistant professor of politics is focused on the concept of peace and how it’s been wielded throughout history.

His current book project, “Disturbing Peace: Athens, Islam and the West,” explores the idea of universal peace and how peace is discussed across major texts in the Western and Islamic traditions. It traces how common claims, like the idea of waging war for the sake of peace, recur in the works of Plato, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Hobbes, Abu Nasr al-Farabi, Ibn Khaldun and other prominent philosophers.

Through his research, Idris has also begun to trace the roots of the phrase “Islam is peace” by examining variations on this claim in modern philosophical discourses, as well as older competing claims and translations of the word in genres like lexicography.

Idris recently met with UVA Today to explain his work and how it contributes to modern political understandings.

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