Friday, April 04, 2008

UIC Postdoctoral Fellowship in Jewish/Muslim relations

The following sounds like an interesting opportunity for the right person. Thanks Niny for the link.


The Jewish-Muslim Initiative at the University of Illinois-Chicago
invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Spring
semester of 2009. The successful candidate will teach one
undergraduate class, give two or three public lectures, and
participate in the life of the university. The class may compare
Jewish and Muslim views on any topic, or be on any aspect of
historical Jewish-Muslim relations. Applicants welcome from History,
Philosophy, Religion, Law, Political Science, and other disciplines,
or from either a Jewish Studies or an Islamic Studies Department.
Successful candidates should display interest in both the Jewish and
the Muslim tradition, but need have expertise in only one of them.
Applicants should submit a c.v., including the names of at least three
referees, and a sample of written work. For full consideration,
applications should be in by April 25, 2008. They can be sent to:

Prof. Sam Fleischacker
Jewish/Muslim Search Committee
Philosophy Department (M/C 267)
1407 University Hall
601 South Morgan Street
University of Illinois-Chicago
Chicago, IL 60607-7104

UIC ranks among the nation's top 50 universities in federal research
funding and is Chicago's largest university with 25,000 students,
12,000 faculty and staff, 15 colleges and the state's major public
medical center. It is an urban, largely commuter campus, with one of
the most diverse student populations in the United States. The
University of Illinois is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Jewish/Muslim Relations

The rift between Jews and Muslims is among the most serious in the
world today. Whatever one?s political views, the need for Jews and
Muslims to understand one another better, and to develop friendships
and co-operative relationships, could not be more obvious.

With this need in mind, the University of Illinois at Chicago has
developed a ground-breaking initiative in Jewish/Muslim relations. As
a school with a large Muslim population, in one of America's most
ethnically diverse cities, and with a large group of professors with a
strong, sympathetic interest in both Judaism and Islam, UIC is
well-situated to take the lead in this area.

The heart of the initiative is a course in Jewish/Muslim relations, to
be taught each year by a postdoctoral fellow selected from a
nationwide competition for that purpose. Any of a large variety of
topics can provide the subject matter of this course: it might take up
views of Abraham, Joseph or Moses in the Torah and the Quran; the
Islamic context of Maimonides?s philosophy; similarities and
differences between the Islamic and Jewish legal systems; shared
Jewish and Islamic history, in Spain, Iraq, the Balkans, or the United
States, or any of a myriad of other topics.

The point of this course, and the fellowship, is three-fold:

1) to provide incentives, in the scholarly world, for young scholars
with a strong research interest in either Judaism or Islam to develop
knowledge of the other tradition as well ? we propose a postdoctoral
fellowship precisely to attract scholars at the beginning of their
career, just coming out of programs in either Jewish or Islamic
Studies, so that they can take the results of this year?s work with
them wherever else they go,

2) to provide a venue for Jewish and Muslim students to investigate
one another?s traditions together, and

3) to bring the results of this scholarly and pedagogical work to the
wider community of Chicago: in the form of presentations by the
postdoctoral fellow at mosques and synagogues, Jewish and Islamic
schools and cultural centers, and the like, but also in the form of
students trained in such a program who go on to work in Jewish or
Islamic organizations in the area.

Scholars are well situated to break through stereotypes and provide
cool voices to calm down debates clouded by passion. There is a dearth
of scholarly work bridging the Jewish and Islamic communities. The UIC
Fellowship ? which is unique in the world ? is one step towards
improving that situation.

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